Burmese Feature to Open Czech Film Festival

By The Irrawaddy 5 June 2014

RANGOON — A Burmese film, “The Monk,” was selected this week as the opening feature for the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, from July 4-12.

“The Monk” was one of 12 films selected from 11 countries around the world. It was directed by the Burmese filmmaker The Maw Naing.

“The film is based on an evolution of a Buddhist monk from a novice to his monkhood and his choice in life: whether he will stick to clergy life or change to lay manhood,” the director told The Irrawaddy.

The Karlovy Vary IFF announced on June 3 that “The Monk” would screen in the Forum of Independents competition. The website announcement said the 93-minute long production is the first independent feature film from Burma in 50 years.

It was created with the help of Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, which has been working in Burma since 2005. The FAMU’s Burma program in 2011 organized the first Burmese film festival, the Wathann Film Festival, and runs an informal film school in the Southeast Asian nation.