After being awarded the Best Documentary Film at the Berlinale, MYANMAR DIARIES, made by Myanmar Film Collective, won the One World Festival Award for Best Director in the International Competition!!!
One of the filmmakers from the Myanmar Film Collective, with his face being hidden to stay anonymous and to avoid being recognized and arrested, sent the video message which he finished with the words: “Our Spring Revolution must win! Dictatorship must fail!”
I have received the award on behalf of absent filmmakers and read the message sent by Myanmar Film Collective and producers:
“The Myanmar Film Collective is so very honored and proud to receive the award at the One World festival. We feel seen with this award, and that is of big importance for us. When we had our world premiere at the Berlinale, they introduce the film with the quote: Does anybody hear us? Are we forgotten by the world? Do you hear us?"
"Well, you make us feel not forgotten by giving award to our film. Please, do not ignore our pain. Please, do not ignore our suffering. Please, do not ignore our courage. Please, do not ignore our hope. Please, care about Myanmar and its people."
"Thank you, OW festival. Thank you, jury. Thank you, Prague. Than you, the Czech Republic. And THANK YOU audience for caring about Myanmar, and for taking the stage with us with a 3-finger salute to the people of Myanmar.”
International jury, with the participation of Shanida Scotland, head of Doc Society Film, film critic and cultural journalist Pavel Sladký, and Belarus director Aliaksei Paluyan, whose film Courage opened last year’s One World Festival, explained their decision to award Myanmar Diaries in the following way:
“A bloody T-shirt, a ghostly presence, a pregnancy test, police cruelty, escape and a butterfly – these images made by ten courageous filmmakers showed us how to live when freedom is brutally suppressed. Their fantasies, dreams and ambitions mix with their realities and become one voice of the nation. Our decision to award the Myanmar Film Collective highlights every single one of these directors. Freedom and creativity will prevail.”
Myanmar, Netherlands, Norway
2022 / 70 min.
Director: The Myanmar Film Collective
The February 2021 military coup stole Myanmar’s chances for democracy. Ten filmmakers who were forced to remain anonymous shot a harsh, yet fragile, testimony on the boundary between documentary and live-action film.
Authentic mobile phone footage captures soldiers shooting at demonstrators and arresting those who stand up against the military dictatorship. Dramatic amateur videos alternate with intimate acted scenes, which, rather than telling a story, communicate the feelings arising from the turbulent events that took place in Myanmar in 2021. What does it feel like when the world forgets about you at a time when things are at their worst? A group of filmmakers, who like the majority of the other protagonists remain anonymous for safety reasons, try to capture the essence of the situation. The film is a raw testimony to what plays out in people’s homes and minds when a military junta takes over “out there”.