Free film screening showcases student work
AS the busy season of film festivals in Yangon comes to a close for the year, local filmmakers have one last chance to showcase their work before an intimate audience at the 2016 Annual Screening hosted by Yangon Film School.
The screening tomorrow will feature at least two new short documentaries produced by this year’s class. Yangon Film School director Lindsey Merrison told The Myanmar Times that this year’s incoming class was diverse as ever, comprising of six men and six women from various Myanmar ethnic groups.
The two documentaries highlight the breadth and diversity of topics that YFS students tackle in their work.
One of them, “The School Uniform,” is a film from the “True Fictions” course in which YFS students were put into two groups and tasked to create a dramatic storyline through documentary means.
The other, “Dirty Water”, is a film made in collaboration with a community in Aung Ban, Shan State, as part of YFS’s Travelling Cinema course. YFS students travelled to marginalised communities throughout Shan, Chin, Kachin, and Rakhine states to create and screen films as well as hold workshops for residents.
As for the remaining films, guests will have to wait and see for themselves at the outdoor theatre at Mya Yeik Nyo Hotel in Bahan township.
“We have not yet confirmed the titles since they are currently being scrutinised by the classification board,” Merrison added.
Since the birth of Yangon Film School in 2005, the non-profit, Berlin- and Yangon-based film institute has hosted a screening each year of the newest and best of their student films, hand-selected by YFS director, Lindsey Merrison and the Student Committee.
The yearly gathering has grown to attract more than 250 guests, filmmakers, students, celebrities and more, said Merrison. Steering Committee member and wellknown actress Grace Swe Zin Htaik as well as Lu Min of the Myanmar Motion Pictures Organisation are often in attendance.
The Yangon Film School Annual Screening is just one of the many avenues for local and independent filmmakers to screen their work. Increasingly, YFS students have gone on to screen around the country and, often, at festivals around the world.
“I’m delighted that our filmmakers and other cineastes are now able to screen their work at a growing number of venues,” said Merrison, listing the Wathann Film Festival, the Human Rights and Human Dignity Festival, and &Proud LGBT festival as just some of the local outlets.
In the future, Merrison hopes Yangon Film School will host screenings all over Myanmar, not just in the cosmopolitan hub of Yangon. The school’s travelling cinema program will work closely with broadcasters around the country in 2017 to realise this goal.
In the lull of cinematic activities before &Proud LGBT film festival kicks off at the start of next year, the Annual Screening, in addition to the casual screenings at the YFS’ Happy Hour on the second Wednesday of each month, will curb the appetite of cinema hungry Yangonites.
The Annual Screening starts at 6pm on November 25 at Mya Yeik Nyo Hotel in Bahan township. The screening is open to all and is free.
The Yangon Film School’s annual screening will feature at least two new documentaries.