RANGOON – Short film “Smell”, which features deprived children sniffing glue Rangoon, won first prize in the 2nd Myanmar Youth Micro Film Contest held at Rangoon’s Sky Star Hotel on Sunday.
The five-minute film, directed by Ko Hnaung Eain Thit, was chosen by a judging panel of renowned film directors and producers out of 134 other entries to pick up the top award in a competition organized by Myanmar Motion Pictures Organization (MMPO) and Shwe Than Lwin Media.
Ko Hnaung Eain Thit, who received US$6,000 and an international film workshop opportunity, said he got the idea for the film after seeing children sniffing glue in deprived areas of Rangoon.
“I asked them why they were sniffing glue,” he said at the event. “They said they don’t need to eat or spend money on food after sniffing glue and can sleep for one and a half days.”
The short film explores the lives of two slum children who dream of the thanakha, a fragrant paste traditionally used by Burmese for cosmetic and medicinal purposes, on their mother’s cheek after sniffing glue to get high.
U Lu Min, president of MMPO, said it was hard to choose a winner as he was satisfied that all candidates were qualified to be future filmmakers.
“All of the candidates’ films were good. They have a lot of talent and we will organize this short film contest again next year,” he said.
Zarganar, a comedian, former political prisoner and guest at the event, welcomed the competition entrants but said he wanted them to pursue new methods.
“Most of the young directors think evoking tears is the only art in the film industry, I want to see more creative pieces in the future,” he said.
The second prize went to a film titled “Htin Ht Say Thaw” by Thein Ko Win and third prize to “Freak-Quincy” by Zan Moe Oo. The recipients received US$5,000 and $3,000 respectively.