English Section

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Since 2011, the annual Burmese film festival called Wathann has been giving an opportunity to Burmese youths to present their works in various categories such as Short Fiction and Documentary Film  before public by organising the competitions penalized by a circle of local and international filmmakers, artists and theoreticians such as Vit Janecek from FAMU International of Czech Republic, an art curator KeiKo Sei from Japan, a Burmese film maker U Myint Thein Pe, a Burmese film director  Nyein Min, an influential Burmese journalist and magazine editor Win Nyein and an artist Htein Lin.

The festival is normally taken place in Septembers in Yangon but now the movement extends to Mandalay City with an assistant of Mandalay Contemporary Art Centre MCAC which is located at the corner of 69th and 37th street. On 13th and 14th of January 2013, MCAC hosted the film festival for the first time in Mandalay and presented 11 films on first day and 9 films on second day respectively.

‘As an independent cultural endeavour aiming at support and promotion of mainly short film production and exhibition in Burma, this annual festival tends to encourage the youths to produce the artistic and independent films’, says Thu Thu Shein, one of the organisers of the movement, who also believe the standard for Burmese films production will be led to the new advanced level by conducting such the activities. She explained that the activity has extended to upper Burma in this year due to the fact that the MCAC become involved in the activities.

The first Watthan festival in Mandalay has been celebrated successfully by the attendance of more than 800 audiences, the local viewers and a mixture of Burmese and international artists from across the world such as Czech Republic, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Britain, France and the States.  

At the opening ceremony on 13th of January 2013, Nyi Pu Lay; the director of MCAC; gave a speech and Thu Thu Shein and Thatedi introduced the background history of Wathann Film Festival WFF to the audience.
                                                                        Ye Mon
                                                                        translated by Ko Phyo

The films mentioned below were shown during the festivals:
1.      New Life by MFC,
2.      Scrap by Maung Maung Tha Myint
3.      Butchery Day by Kaung Su
4.      The Cat Lady by  Janny Zhang
5.      Unlnterruptedness by Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi
6.      The Dream by Khin Myanmar
7.      Sweetie Pie by Sai Kong Kham
8.      Working Man by  Thet ZawWin
9.      (Th)ink by Lin Sun Oo
10.   The Clinic by KoJu, Aung Min and The Maw Naing
11.   Behind the Screen by Aung Nwai Htway
12.  White Crime? by  Aung Myat
13.  Behind the Scene by Win Htut Oo
14.  Long Time No See! by Htoo Paing Zaw Oo
15.  Cleanerby Lwin Oo Maung
16.  Towards Interfaith Peace by Naing Oo and Lin Thet Naing
17.  Idea: by Wai Yi Win Le Phyu
18.   Rain by  Zaw Win Htwe
19.  Flowerless Garden by Zaw Naing Oo and
20.  Social Game by Seng Mai

The aphorism of film festival Wathann shall be stated as ‘ Film is not Entertainment, it’s an Art to reflect the Society.’ Please visit www.wathannfilmfest.net if you want to get involved in the festival.
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An art exhibition of the living legend in Burmese contemporary art, Khin Maung Yin, will take place at Lawka Nat gallery of Pansoe dan street on 18th and 19th of January, 2013. A hundred art works of Khin maung Yin will be collectively presented at the show which shall be titled as Khin Maung Yin 100, the solo exhibition 2013.

The artist Khin maung Yin was a trained architect. In his school days, Dutch modernist master Piet Mondrian, an important leader in the development of modern abstract art whose influential abstract geometric painting style of the lines delineating the rectangular forms inspired a young Khin Maung Yin.

After completing his degree in Architecture in 50s, Khin Maung Yin spent some years in Bangladesh working as an architect but went back to Burma in 1960 to establish himself as a full-time artist. He became recognised one of a leading artists in the first generation of Burmese Modernist artists along with Aung Soe and U Khin Maung (Bank).

He is leading a solitary life devoting only on his art and paying no attention to the popularity and making money. This simple manner of his living makes him even more prominent among the fellow artists.

He normally draws abstract scenery with contemporary approach but started doing a series of Burmese national leader Daw Su’s portraits six years ago and this series had been renowned among the admires and the collectors have been secretly acquiring the paintings from this series.

His biography portraying his artistic journey was published in 2009 under the name of ‘This is Khin Maung Yin’ by the fellow modernist artist San Myint who also is a member of second generation in Burmese modernism.

The modernist master is now reaching an age of 74 and this show will be momentous for the viewers as it will exhibit the different styles of his works from every periods including the most recent ones.

Ko Phone

translated by Ko Phyo

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157 actors showed up for the screen test for
General Aung San the biopic.
Out of 157, 13 were selected. Out of 13, 3 finalists have been chosen.
None of them are good enough. There is a call for another screen test.
(The actors who have been to the first screen test need not apply.)
There will be more actors who want to act General Aung San.
There will be deliberations, a selection process all over again.
They won’t stop until they find a General Aung San lookalike.
There will be screen tests until there is General Aung San.
There will be more applicants. There will be scrutiny.

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1770 – ludwig van beethoven is baptized in bonn on 17 december

1774 – first music lesson

1778 – first public performance

1782 – first published composition

1783 – member of bonn court orchestra

1784 – officially appointed court organist

1787 – first trip to vienna, beethoven’s mother dies in bonn

1792 – second trip to vienna, beethoven’s father dies in bonn

1793 – beethoven becomes a pupil of joseph haydn   

1795 – beethoven becomes a famous piano virtuoso

1798 – beethoven begins to show signs of deafness  

1800-1824 – the first symphony to the ninth symphony, among others

1827 – after a prolonged illness, beethoven dies in vienna


              ko ko thett




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The art works and literature portraying Burmese struggle to attain democracy in 1988 have been coming out from the generation who encountered and got physically involved in this remarkable uprising. Now poet Maung Shin Saw joins this commitment by publishing a novel titled as Hninn Yate Pyar Mhaung (Darkness of foggy shadow) in this arriving December.

Maung Shin Saw was attending Rangoon Technology Institute during 1988 and he got involved in the series of movements such as Phone Maw Incident and Red Bridge Incident occurred in March and Student unrest inside Rangoon University Campus occurred in June which were the preludes of nation-wide demonstrations took place in August 1988. He took the position as an executive member of newly re-formed Student Union and General Strike Committee during the struggle.

After the demonstrations were crashed downed, he moved to Mandalay City and still committed to the struggle. He became an executive member of student union: ABFSU (Upper Burma) and working as an editor for many of underground journals and newspapers such as Ba Hein Journal, Tat Hlant Than journal and Mee Dote newspaper which were published by Mandalay District Student Union.

Since 1991, he became a private tuition teacher and also contributed poems and short stories to monthly-issued magazines. His bilingual Burmese and English poetry collections ‘The Pagan instrument’ was published in 2009 and short stories collection ‘ Small Kitten’ was published in May 2012.

The antecedent art works based on democracy struggle in 1988 publishing prior to Maung Shin Saw’s novel are Min Ko Naing’s novelette called ‘Rear-view mirror’, Mya Aye’s novel called ‘Clouds in the sky’, Kautnwe Kanaung’s ‘A poem for Pyone Cho’ and a film called ‘Lwan Saint’ directed by Cho Tuu zaw.

During the meeting with Maung Shin Saw who is now residing in Pyin Ma Nar Town in the last week of November, the author claimed that he had attempted to mingle his political experiences and his art in this novel and dashed to finalize his novel in order to launch at the dawn of loosened censorship in Burma.Freedom of expression had been darkened for many years in Burma by the strictest censorship in publications. Although the government has revoked pre-publication censorship in 2012, there are still suspicions whether the freedom can last long or any reinstated regulations would be imposed.