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Yangon Film School: Short Fiction Films

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Polish premiere
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Theatrical Screenings
St 20 Nov, 13:00
Kinoteka 2
Kinoteka 2
Online Availability
17 Nov, 10:00 – 29 Nov
Additional Materials

About the event

Meeting with representatives of the School in the festival studio

Films by students and graduates of the School present different faces of contemporary Burma – encounters between tradition and modernity, economic challenges, urban landscapes and stories from the province. Films showing how the political turbulence is shaping the everyday lives of the Burmese, the voice of a generation facing radical limitation of their freedom of speech.

For over a decade, the Yangon Film School has been a space open to debates about the country's identity and its diverse society, made up of a number of ethnic groups which many of the students are members of. In documentary or semi-documentary forms, students and graduates of the school record stories from a changing reality – from the big cities and small local communities. Their productions are a priceless material in which previously unheard voices speak to the wide audiences at home and abroad. Yangon Film School since 2016 is headed by a Pole, Aleksandra Minkiewicz. 

Bamboo Grove

Burma 2011, 19'

Director: Khin Khin Hsu

Screenwriter: Aung Min

Cinematography: Mya Darli Aung

Editor: Hnin Ei Hlaing

A naive young city doctor’s first job out of medical school is a posting to a rural Kayin community in the Delta. Visiting his patients by boat, the doctor comes into the conflict with traditional Kayin ideas about medicine in the form of U Kee Yo, an old man determined to remain in his beloved bamboo grove. The Story is inspired by screenwriter Aung Min’s own experience as a doctor amongst the Kayin people in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta.

Khin Khin Hsu

First time director Khin Khin Hsu trained as cinematographer during the 2009 YFS Beginners’ Workshop and proved herself to be a talented and sensitive editor on various YFS projects in 2010 including the warmly observational "Thursday’s Child". She grew up in a film environment and perhaps inherited her filmmaking talent from her father, the well-known Burmese editor U Ohn Maung.

Aung Min

The screenwriter Aung Min graduated as a medical doctor but is also a professional writer with prose stories "Bad Night" (1999), "I Came To This Town On Assignment" (2003) and "Incomplete Diary" (1995) published in the Myanmar language. Since joining a YFS Screenwriting Workshop in 2006 and a FAMU workshop in the same year, several of his scripts have been turned into short films in Myanmar and in the Czech Republic. In 2010, Aung Min directed a documentary, "The Clinic", about his own Yangon medical practice.

Easy Money

Burma 2020, 14'

A film by: Eim Chan Thar, Ja Roi Aung, Nang Mhwe Ning Seng, Min Yan Thaik and Mann Pye Phyo Aung

Editors: Thae Zar Chi Khaing, Zin Mar Oo and Khin Warso

Min Min quits working for his bossy aunt and falls in with a drug dealer. He enjoys the freedom of his new job and the cash certainly comes in handy. But ultimately he discovers there’s no such thing as easy money.


"Husband & Wife" was the first film collaboration for Shan natives Nang Mhwe Ngin Seng and Mann Pye Phyo Aung who won a Goethe-Institut Myanmar award for his next documentary "Lashio Ambulance". Eim Chan Thar delved into the Yangon tofu-making industry with her short 2017 documentary, "Tofu Nights", while Ja Roi Aung practised her skills as sound recordist on the 2019 Yangon-set film "Lost Boy". Min Yan Thaik is working on a documentary about bamboo rafters in his native Mon State. The editing of "Easy Money" was a combined effort between experienced pair of hands Zin Mar Oo and newer editors Thae Zar Chi Khaing and Khin Warso both of whom already has an acclaimed documentary under their belt ("Seeds of Sadness" and "Slate" respectively).

The Banyan Tree 

Burma 2020, 17'

A film by: Aye Nilar Kyaw, Khine Minn Soe, Maung Okkar, Myat Minn Khant and Nang Chan Myayt Aye

Editor: Zin Mar Oo

Young Shan woman Mo Kham arrives in Yangon to work at Daw Ngwe’s shop. She is hoping for a fresh start but the trauma of war isn’t so easy to put behind her. Can she find a way to start living in the present? 


Aye Nilar Kyaw is an experienced camerawoman who made her directing debut with the short 2017 documentary "Child of the Revolution"; Khine Minn Soe is an established visual artist in Yangon while Maung Okkar gained experience before the camera as a young star in his famous director father’s films as well as directing his own work such as the 2009 festival favourite "Charcoal Boy"; Myat Minn Khant also comes from a filmmaking family and is now working on documentary and fiction projects; hailing from Shan state, Nang Chan Myayt Aye directed the 2017 YFS documentary "Buy, Sell, Resell". After working extensively on the post-production of both seasons of Myanmar TV series "The Sun, The Moon & the Truth", Zin Mar Oo is one of YFS’s most experienced editors.


Burma 2011, 19' 

Director & Producer: Lay Thida

Screenwriter & Production Manager: Anna Biak Tha Mawi

Cinematographer: Kyaw Ko Ko

Editor: Khin Khin Hsu

"Bungkus" is the Malay word for "parcel", the name given to young women sent abroad to marry a man they may never have met so they can send money back to their families in Myanmar. Set in the Chin community of Yangon, the story follows Zing Zing whose tenderly flowering relationship with local boy Asang is threatened when her mother decides she must become a "parcel". The film’s end is inspired by a real-life tragedy within the Chin community.

Lay Thida

Born in Kayah State in eastern Myanmar, director Lay Thida joined YFS in 2005. Her first film, "Just a Boy" was screened at international film festivals. She has directed four films for clients in the development sector. 2010 was a particularly busy year for Lay Thida: she also made two documentaries, "Unreported Story" and "Wrong Side Up", the latter produced during a ten-week course at the UK’s National Film and TV School. Lay Thida is co-founder of the NGO Better Life which has projects in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta and Rakhine State.

Anna Biak Tha Mawi

Screenwriter Anna Biak Tha Mawi is a Chin national from Hakha who lives in Yangon where she is studying English Literature at the Myanmar Institute of Theology. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Chin magazines and her painting and photographs have been shown in group exhibitions at the V30 Art Group and the New Zero Art Space. 

Midtown Yangon

Burma 2020, 20'

A film by Aung Htet Myet, May Myat Noe Aye, Moe Kyaw Thu, Seint Yamone Htoo and Shin Thandar

Editor Mi Mi Lwin

A multi-storey housing block is filled with stories, from a street hawker struggling to fix his TV to a lonely girl who longs for a playmate; from one young man hiding his sexuality to another who simply wants to visit his girlfriend. As frustration builds in a young woman’s overcrowded household, her heartfelt cry adds to the cacophony of lives lived in this little piece of the city.


As one of YFS’s youngest students, Aung Htet Myet’s first film as a director was a portrait of two feisty protest singers, "Angry Folks"; he also recorded the sound on Chit Moe Pio’s 2018 debut, "Going Home". May Myat Noe Aye’s first film as was a lively short documentary about popular Mandalay musician Wareru in "Burmese Rapper", which she worked on with Seint Yamone Htoo, who won a Goethe-Institut Myanmar award for her 2019 documentary "Kachin Reporter"; Rakhine native Shin Thandar directed documentaries "Lost Boy" in 2018 and the award-winning "Worlds Apart" in 2019, while Moe Kyaw Thu is making a name for himself as a camera person and editor on a number of YFS projects. Editor Mi Mi Lwin also has directing experience, with her short documentary "Sugar and Spice" winning a string of awards both at home and abroad.

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