Final Four Chosen for Aung San Biopic

By Nyein Nyein 26 July 2012

Executive of the Bogyoke Aung San Film Board announced on Wednesday the names of four actors competing to portray Burmese independence hero Gen Aung San and his wife Khin Kyi in a new biopic film.

The quartet—two men and two women—will train at a drama camp in Rangoon from August with the final actor and understudy positions chosen by the film production team.

“We will see their performance during training,” said selection board spokesman Zaw Thet Htwe, adding that the camp should last around two or three months.

Kyauk Khae and Kyaw Kyaw Myo were selected from 145 applicants vying to play Aung San, while Zar Chi Lin and Thin Myat Thandar Hlaing came top of 46 hopefuls for Khin Kyi’s role.

“Choosing two actors for each role is to back up one another. If something goes wrong with one actor’s health or other reasons then the other can be the replacement,” explained Zaw Thet Htwe.

The selection process took four-and-half months with physical appearance, intelligence, attitude as well as social and political awareness the deciding factors, he added.

Zar Chi Lin, a 29-year-old primary school teacher from Karen Lin Kwin Gyi village in Pathein, Irrawaddy Delta, is noted for her remarkable resemblance to Khin Kyi and expressed her delight at being involved in a film about Burma’s national icon.

“I will try to act as the director teaches me to do although I had no experience of acting before,” she said.

Two prominent scriptwriters, together with the support of eight historians and four directors, are in the final stages of penning the screenplay after nearly six months work.

Chit Oo Nyo, who produced around two-thirds of the script, told The Irrawaddy that, “It is the hardest script that I have ever written because we want many important facts included.”

His part of the project portrays Aung San’s personal life from his birth through university to eventually become leader of the nation. The biopic aims to portray his political charisma, personal life, integrity, honesty and attitude, said Chit Oo Nyo.

Shooting is due to begin early next year with the script to be translated and edited with the help of directors from Hollywood during the next few months of drama training.

“We have had contact with several directors from Hollywood and Europe and will work together with them,” added Zaw Thet Htwe.

The first ever film depicting Burma’s national hero is due to be completed in 2015 to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is the sole producer of her father’s film and was also on the 15-member selection board.