International Film Heritage Festival

Yangon, 4 – 13 November 2016

Restoring a history of film
Film restoration is a difficult process, but an important one. Old films are history, and can show us how people lived and spoke in days gone by.
Myanmar Times – Sept 11, 2015

Myanmar heritage film celebrates its 85th anniversary
Heritage film fans are today celebrating an important milestone in history: the 85th anniversary of Myanmar cinema.
Myanmar Times – Oct 13, 2015

Saving the crown jewel of ‘Cinema row’
An ambitious plan has been drafted to restore the Waziya cinema, the grandest of the seven movie houses that once lined Yangon’s Bogyoke Aung San Road.
Frontier – Mar 3, 2016


We’re at the halfway point of this year’s festival, and so far the 2016 edition has been hugely successful with local audiences, students, and local filmmakers.

Encounters with filmmakers

Michel Hazanavicius gave a masterlass on Nov. 5th 2016, not surprisingly, to a full house of Myanmar producers, aspiring directors, and curious visitors. 14956645_941867775945864_6080972025956188580_n A very popular screening of Diamond Island was followed by a Q&A with director Davy Chou, who encouraged local filmmakers to be more forthcoming and daring with their projects. Pascale Ferran introduced her critically acclaimed feature Bird People, and joined Catherine Deneuve in presenting Jacques Demy’s masterpiece The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. 15036710_941867632612545_254494915323313823_n At an unprecedented outdoor screening, director Michel Hazanavicius introduced his Academy Award-winning film The Artist. 14947766_941867695945872_6922991996175373237_n 14962556_941867729279202_6333539769088516337_n 15036686_941867715945870_3384272541861577367_n Perhaps one of the top highlights this year, Myanmar-born Taiwanese director Midi Z’s most recent feature Road to Mandalay was screened to an enthusiastic audience, followed by a lively Q&A with the director. Régis Wargnier, no stranger to working in Southeast Asia, presented his Award-winning epic feature Indochine. This afternoon Paul Grant will introduce Genghis Khan, a rare biopic from the Philippines directed by Manuel Conde, followed by a presentation of the recently restored classic by Usmar Ismail Tiga Dara by project producer Alex Sihar.

The Creative Archive

A round table entitled “Creative Artists and Archves” featured a dialogue between directors Michel Hazanavicius, Davy Chou, and Pascale Ferran, moderated by Dr. Howard Besser. In addition to the screenings and encounters between directors and actors, this year includes a series of talks by international presenters. Pascale du Plantier introduced some aspects of managing the Gaumont catalogue, while Dr. Paul Grant presented recent research on the history of Cebuano cinema. 14925472_941896155943026_6587837253001665078_n Theo Stojanov’s talk explored the intersection between archival ethics and creativity. A rare 35mm screening of North-Korea/France co-production Moranbong was followed by history of this revolutionary classic presented by Jérémy Segay. The creative use of archival research was also the topic of Thong Kay Wee’s look at the relationship between landscape and film in Singapore. 14925301_941896159276359_1805997986867439289_n Today, the closing talk will be given by professor Suresh Chabria, entitled “Cinema and Collective Memory in Indian Film.”


Guests of honour Michel Hazanavicius, Pascale Ferran, Catherine Deneuve, Grace Swe Zin Htaik, The French Ambassador to Myanmar, Wyne, Phway Phway, Nicolas Seydoux, Davy Chou, and other local and foreign dignitaries joined an enthusiastic audience for the opening of the 4th edition of Memory! International Heritage Film Festival. The festival was declared open by Award-winning actresses Catherine Deneuve and Grace Swe Zin Htaik. The red carpet ceremony was followed by the screening of freshly restored Myanmar silent classic Mya Ga Naing (1934) by director ‘A1’ Maung Tin Maung, featuring a live accompaniment provided by Hein Tint & his famous Hsaing Waing Ensemble along with Berlin musicians Meike Goosmann and Steffen Weeke.

Red Carpet Ceremony

Memory! 2016 Opening Night. Images by Christine Tamalet Marquer. Memory! 2016 Opening Night. Images by Christine Tamalet Marquer. Memory! 2016 Opening Night. Images by Christine Tamalet Marquer. Memory! 2016 Opening Night. Images by Christine Tamalet Marquer. Memory! 2016 Opening Night. Images by Christine Tamalet Marquer.

The original soundtrack is brought to life by Hein Tint & his Hsaing Waing Ensemble, joined by Meike Goosmann and Steffen Weeke. Thanks to the Goethe Institut, Yangon.

  Memory! 2016 Opening Night. Images by Christine Tamalet Marquer. Memory! 2016 Opening Night. Images by Christine Tamalet Marquer.


memory-8790Myanmar-born director Midi Z has introduced his latest feature Road to Mandalay (2016) followed by a Q&A in English and Burmese with the audience. The director has been joined by actor and production manager Shin-Hong Wang and Kyaw Win Htike. This is the first time Midi Z’s work will be shown in Myanmar, which is a significant step in revealing parts of the country’s history that have, until recently, been omitted from public discussion.
memory-8770Road to Mandalay tells the story of a couple of migrant workers illegally crossing the border into Thailand to look for work and to escape civil war. This disturbing experience, shared by millions, is situated as a contemporary drama that unfolds with the assured strength of a masterpiece. Road to Mandalay is a powerful and tragic love story, told in an arresting visual style.
20161108_162509 A graduate of the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Midi Z’s 2014 film Ice Poison was selected as the Taiwanese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. A prolific filmmaker, in short succession he has also directed the features Return to Burma (2011), Poor Folk (2012), as well as the documentaries Jade Miners (2015) and City of Jade (2016). The Road to Mandalay is currently making the festival rounds and has been highly acclaimed by both critics and audiences.


Speaker: Ariane Toscan du Plantier. Gaumont. Director of Communication & Heritage Catalogue (France), moderated by Dr. Howard Besser, NYU

The famous French company Gaumont, founded by Léon Gaumont in 1895, is the oldest film company in the world still in activity & one of the most richest catalogue in the world. Gaumont’s 1,000-film catalogue runs the gamut from the classics of 20th century to the blockbusters of 21st century.

– du Plantier

Date: Saturday, November 5th screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-18-19-am screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-10-19-44-am


screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-5-00-37-pm Gaumont is 120 years old! Today, other companies that started out at the same time remain only as fond memories, but Gaumont is more alive than ever, celebrating its 120 years of ingenuity, industrial, commercial and artistic success. This free exhibition proposes a journey through Gaumont’s history of cinema with loans from the Gaumont Museum, film clips, and posters. This is a portion of a greater, year-long exhibition held in Paris and curated by Dominique Païni at the Cenquatre, a popular gallery space. With the hope of sharing this history abroad, the embassies of France in Asia, along with the valuable support of Gaumont, combined efforts to circulate this exhibition in ten Asian countries. Discover the wealth of French and world heritage film, experience the artistic energy embodied by Gaumont for the past 120 years! At the occasion of the 4th edition of MEMORY! International Film Heritage Festival, this exceptional exhibition will be held in Yangon from the 5th to the 13th of November at Waziya Cinema Theatre.

120 years of Cinema : Gaumont, born with cinema

It is more than an exhibition about a company. Gaumont has existed as long as the motion picture industry itself. For 120 years now, this cinematographic studio has attempted to integrate all of the industry trades together, from production to exhibition and distribution; the Gaumont name is built upon the the work of directors and other creative professionals who have made the movies into an art form, such as Louis Feuillade, Jean Vigo, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Andrzej Wajda, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Maurice Pialat, Jean-Luc Godard, Luc Besson, and many others. This is first and foremost an exhibition about cinema itself, made up of fabulous encounters. Waziya Cinema November 5th – November 13rd 2016 MEMORY! International Film Heritage Festival Free Admission The exhibition is organized by MEMORY! Festival, The Embassy of France & Institut Français with the support of Gaumont. Acknowledgments Gaumont: Mr. Nicolas Seydoux, Ariane Toscan du Plantier, Sophie Bollotte, Violette Duquesne, Régional Audiovisual Attaché for South-East Asia: Guillaume Duchemin Institut Français: Julien Badon, Elodie Sobczak Installation: U Zaw Zaw  


midi-zBefore moving to Taiwan to train as an artist and filmmaker, Midi Z was born and raised in Myanmar. His graduation short Paloma Blanca (White Dove) was screened at numerous film festivals. In 2009, he was selected as the leading screenwriter and director at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Academy organized by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who also produced Midi Z’s short film, The Hua-Xing Incident. In 2011, he made his first feature-film Return to Burma, which was selected for screening at the Busan International Film Festival and premiered in Europe at the prestigious Tiger Awards Competition section of the 2012 International Film Festival of Rotterdam. The Palace on the Sea (2013) led to another Tiger Award nomination in 2014. Midi Z’s Ice Poison (2014) won Best Film in Edinburgh and represented Taiwan at the Foreign Language Oscars. Jade Minders (2015), his first documentary, screened at the Taipei International Film Festival and at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, followed by City of Jade, which was selected at the Berlinale Forum 2016. He was awarded Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker in 2016 during the Golden Horse Awards as an acknowledgement of his excellence in both feature and documentary filmmaking, as well as to recognize that his achievements broaden the horizons of both Taiwanese cinema and the Taiwanese film industry.