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Her movies are known for tackling controversial subjects or "risky" in Indonesia such as homosexuality, migrant workers, and polygamy. She directed her first feature film, Ca-bau-kan, in 2001. The next film she directed, 2003's Arisan!, was critically acclaimed and one of her most successful works. Her third directorial effort, 2006's Berbagi Suami, was controversial yet successful. Dinata has faced heavy censorship and controversy in Indonesia because of the subjects she covers. However, she has also won critical acclaim internationally, being called Indonesia's "most talented new filmmaker" in 2006. Two of the films she direct have been submitted to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

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