Free film screen­ing show­cases stu­dent work

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse - LILLIAN KALISH l.kalish@mm­

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.

Photo: Sup­plied

The Yan­gon Film School’s an­nual screen­ing will fea­ture at least two new doc­u­men­taries.

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