Talented Myanmar Filmmakers Win International Awards

By Lwin Mar Htun 20 November 2019

As part of the Memory! Film Festival, Myanmar Script Fund (MSF) has hosted its fourth film script competition to encourage Myanmar’s filmmakers. The winners were announced on Nov. 19 during the film festival at the Waziya Cinema in Yangon.

The jury awarded four prizes along with two 2019 MSF script development awards. One was awarded to Ko Myo Min Htwe for his film “Lucky” and the other went to Ma San San Oo for her film “The Rooster”, each receiving 1,000 euros (1.67 million kyats) for film script development.

“This competition by MSF is really good for young filmmakers like me because we don’t have many film platforms to show our work. I’m so happy to receive this award and will try to improve in the future,” said Ma San San Oo.

Ko Than Lwin Oo and producer Ma Poe Poe won the MSF Cinéfabrique Short Film Award with their film “Human”. The award gives support for the production of a short film with two industry specialists who will contribute to the preparation and shooting of a production in Myanmar. There is also a chance to spend four weeks working on post-production in France.

The 2019 MSF Open Doors Award went to Ko Lamin Oo for his film “Garuda Dragon”. He won a chance to visit the Locarno Festival in Switzerland next year.

“The MSF started in 2016 as an educational competition to keep developing and growing. Making a quality film is a long process. The MSF is an important step because it exposes directors, scriptwriters and producers to international professionals,” said Gilles Duval, the MSF co-founder.

“The road is long. In all countries, it takes between three and five years. So you have to be patient and one day the results will be there: a Burmese film in selection at an international film festival.”

Six finalists were selected for a weeklong education and competition session in Yangon ending Tuesday, including directors, scriptwriters and producers from six finalist film projects at the Film Development Center.

“All the finalists are already winners with the spotlight on six film projects. Organizations like the Locarno Festival and other A-list festivals will already be watching their development with interest,” said fellow co-founder Séverine Wemaere.

The jury was chaired by French director Claude Mouriéras, along with Sophie Bourdon from the Locarno Festival, script lecturer Rachel Mathews, producer from JBA Production in France Marianne Dumoulin, Isabelle Glachant of Chinese Shadows from China and France, Marietta von Hauswolf von Baumgarten from the Torino Film Lab in Sweden and Vit Janecek, an academic at the FAMU in the Czech Republic.

The MSF is supported by the French and Swiss embassies, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Centre national du Cinéma et de l’image animée, Arte Cinema, Locarno Festival Open Doors and Forever Group.

The seventh Memory! Film Festival runs until Nov. 24 at the Waziya Cinema and Mahabandoola Park. Admission is free for all movies.