Burmese Filmmaker Honored at Asean Youth Competition

By Nyein Nyein 20 August 2015

CHIANG MAI, Thailand — A young Burmese filmmaker has won third prize at a regional film contest in Singapore aimed at fostering closer relationships between Southeast Asia’s youth.

Thuta Lynn, 23, won the honor at the Asean Youth Video Contest on Aug. 8, which asked entrants to compile two-minute films on contemporary issues facing young people in the regional bloc.

Despite only beginning his dalliance in filmmaking earlier this year, Thuta Lynn won the third place plaudit for “Closer Than We Thought”, which depicted the importance of giving youth from different countries the opportunity to meet and share their experiences.

“I wanted to show that the young are the most important communicators, whichever communities we are in,” said Thuta Lynn, a computer sciences graduate from Dagon University and a former journalist, now working as a sales executive. “It was a real challenge on how I would create the film after the story is accepted as it was my first time experience.”

A team of young Vietnamese filmmakers from Can Tho University won first prize for an animated short that highlighted concerns over development projects on the Mekong River.

“We wanted to promote some of the activities of young people working to protect the Mekong River for our future,” Pham Quoc Anh Duy told The Irrawaddy.

Concerns have been raised in recent years over the health of the Mekong River, which flows through China and five Asean nations, and the potential environmental impact of several dam projects on the waterway’s lower delta.

“We are concerned about how the dams will affect the river downstream,” said Ly Quoc Dang, a member of the Delta Youth Alliance and one of the Vietnamese filmmakers. “If they build it, it will block the natural resources which we all depend on.”

Second prize went to Karen Feliz Santor of the Philippines, whose animated submission depicted a superhero who saved Asean during times of crisis.

The contest’s prizewinners will be honored at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in November.