Wathann win­ners high­lights so­cial is­sues

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - NYEIN EI EI HTWE nyeineiei­htwe@mm­times.com

MEN lounge out­side in the shade, dis­cussing their plight as a rot­ted corpse sits ca­su­ally be­side them.

The scene, from the Move doc­u­men­tary film about a group of un­der­tak­ers work­ing to dig out an old ceme­tery, is a stark de­pic­tion of the plight facing many in the Thi­lawa in­dus­trial zone as they are forced to move out.

Re­con­gised for its cre­ative ap­proach, the 16-minute-long doc­u­men­tary won top hon­ours at the sixth an­nual Wathann Film Fes­ti­val, which con­cluded yes­ter­day af­ter a five-day run at Waziya Cin­ema. Young di­rec­tor Khong Soe Moe Aung di­rected Move but was on a trip dur­ing the cer­e­mony and could not re­ceive the prize.

The fes­ti­val show­cased over 30 lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional films, in­clud­ing Best Short Film win­ner Pe­riod@Pe­riod, di­rected by Hnin Ei Hlaing. The fe­male di­rec­tor tack­led the of­ten-con­tro­ver­sial topic of women go­ing through their men­strual cy­cle.

Hnin Ei Hlaing said she first had the idea to craft a film about women’s pe­ri­ods when she was 19 years old, but fear of the re­sponse made her hes­i­tant. It wasn’t un­til the artist Ma Ei hosted her own Pe­riod in­stal­la­tion – com­plete with per­for­mance art – that Hnin Ei Hlaing de­cided her film’s time had come.

“It forced me to cre­ate this Pe­riod@Pe­riod,” she said.

The judg­ing panel of 10 men also awarded the Best South­east Asia Doc­u­men­tary award to Myan­mar di­rec­tor Ei Ei Lwin for her film Sugar & Spice.

The film of­fers a stun­ning por­trait of the di­rec­tor’s par­ents, who make a liv­ing by gen­er­at­ing palm sugar from the sap of toddy-palm trees in Myan­mar’s up­per dry zone. Ei Ei Lwin’s vic­tory was par­tic­u­larly note­wor­thy, as she went up against nine com­pet­i­tive films from Myan­mar and other coun­tries around the re­gion. Best Act­ing went to Mon Thi Khing from the film Book

Lover, while Best Cin­e­matog­ra­phy went to Aung Ko Ko for his star­tlingly dark por­trayal of a young mother’s strug­gles in Across the River Wind.

“It is dif­fi­cult to dis­cover new faces for short films, and even harder to teach them how to act,” said Keiko Sei, a spokesper­son from the fes­ti­val. “But un­ex­pect­edly, many of the short films that had the best act­ing fea­tured or­di­nary peo­ple.”

A spe­cial men­tion award was also given to Shun Wint Aung for her ab­stract an­i­ma­tion film Mother. The young di­rec­tor said she was to­tally shocked by the recog­ni­tion.

“It’s an un­ex­pected prize for my cre­ation, and I’m re­ally grate­ful to the jury, my friends and es­pe­cially to my mother who al­lowed me to make this trib­ute.”

In to­tal, the fes­ti­val’s com­pe­ti­tion fea­tured seven doc­u­men­tary films and eight short films for the lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion, as well as nine doc­u­men­tary films for the South­east Asia re­gional com­pe­ti­tion.

Photo: Nyan Zay Htet

The film fes­ti­val was spon­sored by the Goethe In­sti­tut.

Win­ners pose with their awards last night.

Pho­tos: Thiri Lu

The fes­ti­val was held this year at the old Waziya Cin­ema on Bo­gyoke Road.

More than 30 lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional films screened dur­ing the fes­ti­val.

Hnin Ei Hlaing, who won for her short film Pe­riod@Pe­riod, ad­dresses the au­di­ence.

A crew mem­ber who worked with Khon Soe Moe Aung on the win­ning doc­u­men­tary, Move, ac­cepts the award on his be­half.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.