International Film Heritage Festival

Yangon, 4 – 13 November 2016


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

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Speaker: Thong Kay Wee. Outreach Officier at Asian Film Archive & Creative Producer of State of Motion (Singapore).

Films take place over time and this paper proposes film education by way of retracing these places through particular chapters of Singapore film history. Using the Asian Film Archive’s event State of Motion 2016 as a case study, the spotlight will be placed on Singapore locations appearing in classic old films, bringing to fore what is usually regarded as backdrop to the narratives, freeing them from the grip of the fictive and re-presenting them as sites and receptacles of real and lived history.
With the 2016 project, attention was given to a selection of 20th century Cathay-Keris’ studio films made during the golden age of Singapore Cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. The research traversed through trends of situating movie making in traditional villages, newly reclaimed lands, skyscrapers, and iconic sites. The highlight of the project came in the format of a film history-cum-visual arts tour, when further artistic interventions were invited to expound on the dialogue from these slate of films, enabled by the attention on history, locality and story telling.
With films regarded as documents of time, the paper seeks to encourage the imagining and examining of an ever-changing Singapore landscape in the larger context of national history and social memories.

Date: Tuesday, November 8th

Speaker: Prof. Suresh Chabria. Professor of Film Appreciation (FTII) & Former Director of National Film Archives of India (India).

Cinema and memory have a close relationship. This is because cinema is both representational or realist and a popular and mass medium. Films therefore cannot but tell us something about the history of the society in which they are produced. As the renowned historian and philosopher Marc Ferro wrote, “We need to study film and see it in relation to the world that produces it. What is our hypothesis? That film, image or not of reality, document or fiction, true story or pure invention, is history.”
This talk will focus on Indian popular cinema which, by capturing the imagination of perhaps the world’s largest film audiences, not only gave it a sense of a common identity, but also created a storehouse of shared historical narratives and collective memories. Whether the film was a ‘historical’, biopic or pure fiction, it told us something about the nation’s zeitgeist and offered a constructed history that overlaps and sometimes contradicts textbook versions and the work of academic historians. Popular ingredients like melodrama and songs and dance sequences recount not only the tensions and conflicts of Indian society but also its joys and deeper yearnings.
The talk will be illustrated with excerpts from classics like Pyaasa, Mother India, Mughal-e-Azam, Shaheed, Gandhi and Bombay.

Date: Wednesday, November 9th


Speaker: Theo Stojanov (Concordia University, Canada).

Restored releases of classic films are often accompanied by statements that the new version is, somehow, closer to the original idea than what audiences may have already come to know. What motivates such claims to recovered authenticity? What is the meaning of authorial intent? Restorations, re-edits, and post-produced transfers are met with misgivings by some archivists and scholars and welcomed by others, but in either case the result is acknowledged to be a new film altogether, a creation of our time. Media artists and filmmakers have used the nexus between restoration and re-creation to establish (the nowadays somewhat obsessive) found footage practice, which draws attention the passage of time itself, as well as to the process of re-activating and experiencing the cinematic past as a current event. This presentation addresses some of the questions associated with what may be considered proper or improper uses of found footage, and proposes a creative attitude of speculative restoration as we examine works by experimental filmmakers working in this tradition.

Date: Monday, November 7th


Speaker: Dr. Paul Douglas Grant. Professor Graduate Cinema Studies & Co-Chair SAFAD Research Committee. University of San Carlos (Philippines).

Result of three years of research at the Cebuano Studies Center at the University of San Carlos, Cebu, Dr. Paul Douglas Grant will put together regarding historical film research approaches and methodology about the history of the two golden ages of cinema in Cebu (1950s and 1970s) . In this region of Cebu, out of 125 films made. Dr Paul Douglas Grant and Misha Boris Anissimov, M.A at Cinema Faculty, University of San Carlos were only able to locate 4 films…

 Date: Sunday, November 6th