Human Rights the Focus of Burma Film Festival

By Nadi Htike 8 May 2013

With the idea of connecting film and human rights, “The Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival” will launch in Rangoon next month, according to the festival’s founder and director, Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi.

The award-winning filmmaker said the festival would run from June 15-19 in two movie theaters in Rangoon’s Junction Square shopping center, while subsequent film screenings would be held in different states and divisions in the following months.

“It will be the main festival in Rangoon in June,” he told The Irrawaddy. “From July to December, there will be traveling film festivals in 13 cities in 13 other states and divisions.”

The deadline to submit documentaries, short films and animation films from Burma and abroad is May 10. So far, the festival has received more foreign films.

“To date, we have received films from Denmark, the United States, France, Germany, England and the Philippines,” said Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi. “I think domestic films will be sent to us near the deadline.”

Three awards will be given to the best documentary, short film and animation film—including the Aung San Suu Kyi Award in honor of the Burmese opposition leader, the Min Ko Naing Award in honor of the leading democracy activist, and the March13 Award.

“The March13 Award is to honor Phone Maw and Soe Naing, the university students who fell during the 1988 uprising for demanding fundamental human rights. March 13 is also the date widely recognized as Burma’s human rights day,” the filmmaker said.

The film festival is dedicated to Suu Kyi, who gained iconic status around the world as a promoter of human rights and democracy in Burma under the former military regime. The award ceremony will be on her birthday, June 19.

“Our intention is just to raise the awareness level of people in our country on human rights issues,” said Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi.