Cinemas in Crisis: Afghanistan and Myanmar
29 November 2021, Monday, 6.30pm 90 Min The Arts House, Chamber
In times of crisis, art may be deemed as dispensable or essential to understanding and reflecting change. For the latter, the art of filmmaking can even become a form of resistance.However, when filmmaking is rendered almost impossible, how can a film industry and its players respond to these challenges? How can filmmakers continue to express themselves while confronting the very real danger of suppression?
Focusing on case studies of the past and present realities in Afghanistan and Myanmar, this talk will shed light on the developments of both national film industries in the 20th century, and discuss the various ways in which cinema and artists can continue to move forward despite the odds today.
Maung Okkar is an actor and filmmaker. His debut role was in Dat-khe (2002), a feature directed by Burmese filmmaker U Wunna. A philosophy graduate, Okkar’s first documentary Charcoal Boy (2010) screened and competed at 16 international film festivals.
In 2017, he founded the non-profit organisation Save Myanmar Film, which conducts film archiving workshops and leads digital restoration projects for classic Myanmar films. Most recently, he was cast in the lead role for Money Has Four Legs (2020), which competed at Busan International Film Festival and was screened at Locarno Film Festival.
Sahraa KARIMI is an actor and film director. Born in Iran to a second generation of Afghan refugees, Karimi studied in Slovakia and graduated with a PhD in directing at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava.
On her return to Kabul, she applied for and became the first woman general director of the state-owned Afghan Film. Her first feature, Hava, Maryam, Ayesha (2019) premiered in competition in the Orizzonti section of the 76th Venice International Film Festival.
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