RANGOON — As the Wathann Film Festival kicks off with its sixth edition on Tuesday, Rangoon’s oldest cinema Waziya prepares to host the city’s movie buffs.
According to the organizers, the film festival will showcase more than 30 local and international independent films: fifteen films have been selected for the local competition, nine for the Southeast Asia competition and about 10 films for non-competitive screenings.
All 24 competition films will have two screenings each during the six-day event—from Tuesday until Sunday. The organizers provide a second showing of a shortlisted selection over the weekend for those who are unable to make it out on weekdays, while a collection of non-competition screenings offer a rare opportunity for the city’s cinephiles.
The Irrawaddy lists a collection of non-competition highlights from the festival’s line-up for easy reference.
South East Asian Shorts (September 7, 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm)
Short films from Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.
Japanese Cinema (September 8, 3:30pm)
Master Class by Nobuhiro Kawanaka and a presentation of the Image Forum Film Festival by Koyo Yamashita.
The film festival will host a master class with one of Japan’s pioneers of experimental film, Nobuhiro Kawanaka. He will present three of his works from the 1970s-2000s. He is also known for the genre of “private film”—a diary or letter in video form, a style not often found in Burmese films.
Switchback (1976, 9 min)
B Continued (1984, 22 min)
Correspondence (2005, 38 min)
Café Waldluft (79 min) (September 9, 3:30pm to 5:30pm)
By Matthias Kobmehl
This award-winning German documentary tells the story of a family hotel and cafe that turned into a temporary haven for asylum seekers fleeing from Afghanistan, Syria and Sierra Leone.
The Palace On The Sea (15 min) (September 9, 6:00pm to 8:00pm)
By Midi Z
This 15-minute experimental and expressionist short film was directed by Burmese-born Taiwanese filmmaker Midi Z. It explores the mysterious desire of a Burmese migrant worker in Taiwan who longs to go home.
Midi Z is best known for his 2014 feature film “Ice Poison”—a Taiwanese entry selected for the 87th Oscar Awards, featuring two Burmese drug victims in Lashio, Shan State. The award-winning filmmaker will not be able to attend the Wathann Film Festival, but the producer and actor Shin-hong Wang will be available during the Q&A session following the screening.
Like Umbrella/Like King (15 min 44 sec) (September 9, 6:00pm to 8:00pm)
By Moe Satt
This short film features the work of an installation artist, involving umbrellas, zippers and colors.
Above And Below (119 min) (September 10, 6:00pm – 8:00pm)
By Nicolas Steiner
This documentary was directed by a Swiss film student. It follows the lives of five individuals who do not fit into modern American society. Film critics acclaimed it as one of 2015’s most remarkable cinematic discoveries.