International Film Heritage Festival

Yangon, 4 – 13 November 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.


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.


At an unprecedented outdoor screening, director Michel Hazanavicius introduced his Academy Award-winning film The Artist.

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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.


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.


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.


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

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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.


Marietta von Hausswolff von Baumgarten

Marietta von Hausswolff von Baumgarten is an internationally renowned screenwriter and script consultant known for the celebrated feature film Call Girl (2012) directed by Mikael Marcimain. Call Girl premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, where it was awarded with the 2012 Fipresci Award. Other projects Marietta has been involved with include award winning films such as Svinalängorna (2010) directed by Pernilla August, The Babadook (2014) directed by Jennifer Kent, and Mediterranea (2015) by Jonas Carpignano, H by Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia, Djeca, Children of Sarajevo by Aida Begic, Alaverdi by Maria Sachyan, Los Hongos by Oscar Ruiz Navia, The Dog Show by Ralston Jover, Svinalängorna/Beyond by Pernilla August, Hi-So by Aditya Assarat, Les Quattro Volte by Michelangelo Frammartino, The Slut by Hagar Ben-Asher, Short Skin by Ducchio Chiarini and the upcoming Rey by Niles Attallah, Blanka by Kohki Hasei, Underground Fragrance by Pengfei Song and The Fits by Anna Rose Holmer.

Since 2007 von Hausswolff works in connection with Torino Film Lab, Binger Film Lab, Toronto International Film Festival Studio, Boost Rotterdam, Balkan Film Fund Athens, Talent Campus Sarajevo, Berlinale Rutger Hauer Masterclass, Campus Moscow, Script Lab Russia, Venice Biennale College Cinema and many other international script labs. Marietta von Hausswolff von Baumgarten has a background in television, both as a story editor and as a screenwriter, and has worked on popularly acclaimed TV series such as Skilda Världar (1996-1999), Tre Kronor (1994-1999), as well as SVT’s Christmas calendar Allrams Höjdarpaket (2004).

She is also Head of MotherOfSons (MOS), a development/film production company based in Stockholm.



Hou Hsiao-Hsien is a film director, screenwriter, producer and actor, and one of the leading figures in world cinema. Frequently associated with Taiwan’s New Wave cinema, his many awards include a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1989 for A City of Sadness (1989), and the Best Director award at the Cannes in 2015 for The Assassin (2015).

A graduate of the National Taiwan Academy of the Arts, Hou earned international recognition for his dramas dealing with the upheavals of Taiwanese (and Chinese) history of the past century. His storytelling is elliptical and his style marked by extreme long takes with minimal camera movement but intricate choreography of actors and space within the frame. He uses extensive improvisation to arrive at the final shape of his scenes and the low-key, naturalistic acting of his performers. Hou’s films have been awarded top prizes from Venice, Cannes, Berlin, Hawaii and other international film festivals. To date, six of his films have been nominated for the Palme d’Or (best film award) at Cannes and he was voted “Director of the Decade” in the 1990s by international film critics.

Café Lumière (2003) is Hou’s homage to Yasujirō Ozu, recalling some of the Japanese director’s principle themes: the tension between parents and children, between tradition and modernity, addressed in Hou’s typically de-centered manner. Flight of the Red Balloon (2007), shot in France, is the story of a French family as seen through the eyes of a Chinese student. The film is the first part in a series sponsored by the Musée d’Orsay, starring Juliette Binoche. Besides his work as a fiction director, Hou has also worked on animation, sound, and made numerous appearances as an actor.



Mr. Nicolas Seydoux serves as the President of Gaumont, one of the major film companies in France and the longest operating. Nicolas Seydoux is also Vice President of the supervisory board of Arte France. He holds degrees in Law and Economics from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (IEP) in Paris.

Combining production, distribution, park facilities and one of the most prestigious film catalogs in the world, Gaumont is a major player in the film industry. Its history is inseparably intertwined with the Seventh Art, and the company’s 120-year history give it a unique status, particularly thanks to its accumulated experience and ability to constantly innovate. In recent years, Gaumont has intensified its activity by producing, financing and distributing films and series globally, in both French and English.

Gaumont has the second richest catalog of films in France, with over 900 titles, including works by prestigious directors such as Luc Besson, Mathieu Kassovitz, Francis Veber, Jean-Jacques Beineix and classics by Federico Fellini, Maurice Pialat or Jean-Luc Godard. In 2003, the Gaumont and Pathé companies—two of the biggest film studio names worldwide—created the Gaumont-Pathé Archives and combined their extraordinary holdings. With more than 14000 hours of black & white and color films gathered and consolidated in once place since 1896, along with contributions from across the world continuously added to the collection, the Gaumont-Pathé Archives now offer one of the largest motion picture catalogues.