Today we’re descending on the Mandalay Contemporary Art Museum: less a museum than a funky art space, full of carven nudes and tubes of paint.
One of our initiatives for FCP is funding Myanmar’s first film festival to travel regionally. For the first time, there’ll be a two-day set of screenings at MCAM. A few word from the festival director:    
Thu Thu Shein: We started this Wathann Film Festival in 2011. We started with four people, including myself, Thaiddhi, Aung Ko Ko and Myo Min Khim,

With film screenings it was difficult to find places to screen them. With paintings we could show them in a gallery, but with films it was more difficult. We have now found a space for independent filmmakers to screen their films.

We now have the Wathann Film Festival twice: in 2011 and 2012. We call this film festival (“Wathann” because it means “Monsoon Season”, which is when the festival takes place.)

We feel that having a film festival in Yangon is not enough, because Mandalay is a very big city with very great artists. We would like to invite all of them to participate in our film festival in the coming years.

First I would like to thank Mandalay Contemporary Art Centre for allowing us the space to screen the films. Next I would like to welcome Flying Circus Project and TheatreWorks and all the participating artists for joining us. We would also like to thank all the audience members in Mandalay who are joining us today. Thank you.
(Pictured: the filmmakers and film festival board. Thu Thu Sein is in lavender, second from the right.)

What we’ll be seeing are mostly award-winners from the 2011 and 2012 festivals in Yangon. Usually there’s a discussion after every film, but translation would be so time-consuming that we’ve opted for a more compact program: at 10:30, 1pm and 3:30 they’ll be screening one hour-blocks of short films, following by Q&As. 

FCP artists are free to wander in the meantime. We’re also given full licence to skip the 1pm slot, so we can visit the Mahabumi Paya or something similarly touristy. Me, I’m staying put for the long haul.


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