International Film Festival

Yangon, November 2020, 8th edition


Welcome to the MEMORY! International Film Festival! It focuses on worldwide & regional cinema as well as cinema heritage – and is unique to this part of the world.

MEMORY! Festival has established a base in a country, Myanmar, with a rich cinema history dating all the way back to the 1920s. Continuing the tradition of the very few heritage film festivals in existence, MEMORY! aims to bring to the Myanmar public the kinds of films that were barely accessible for several decades in this country. Audiences will experience the rich histories of world and local film, and see Cinema as both a popular and an elevating artform that reaches across eras and nations. Though perhaps differently to each of us, Cinema speaks to all. Movies are journeys through time, space, and history, they are windows onto various cultures, traditions, societies, and religions.

MEMORY! Festival is developed by the MEMORY! Cinema Association, an international non-governmental organization, dedicated to the cinema and cultural memory worldwide. The Association is also working on several missions:
The Myanmar Script Fund, an annual scriptwriting workshop competition, is MEMORY! Festival’s commitment to the next generation of Myanmar filmmakers.
As well Journalism & Culture is a program for the next generation of Myanmar journalists concerned by Culture.
The Myanmar 100, a long-term project that aims to recover and restore works of national significance and to establish a national film and media archive.


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In 2019, MEMORY! explores the theme “LIFE TOGETHER“, an extremely exciting theme in a country as diverse as Myanmar . Over twenty classics and recent works show the different challenging, amusing or disturbing ways people and communities interact with each other. A theme at the very heart of the cinema.
Alongside the main theme, the film line up also include a tribute to Agnes Varda (France) and Lino Brocka (Philippines), a carte blanche to 3-ACT as well as other special screenings.

While the festival takes place in the oldest cinema hall in Myanmar Waziya from November 15 to 24, an open air cinema is organised in the emblematic venue of Mahahabandoola park from November 16 to 18.


During the past editions, our distinguished Patrons Catherine Deneuve (France) and Grace Swe Zin Htaik (Myanmar) are joined by celebrated French actress Isabelle Huppert, Director Tran Anh Hung (Vietnam), Actress Tran Nu Yen Khe (Vietnam), Director Claude Mourieras (France), Animation Director Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec (France), Director Darlene Johnson (Australia), French Actress Clothilde Coureau, Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang, Leading actor Lee Kang Sheng, Director Tan Pin Pin (Singapore), Director Midi Z (Taiwan), Director Eddie Cahyono (Indonesia), Directors Michel Hazanavicius & Olivier Assayas (France), Actress Cheng Pei Pei (China), Actress Michelle Yeoh (Malaysia), Actor Wyne (Myanmar), Actress Phway Phway (Myanmar), Directors Pascale Ferran, Davy Chou, Régis Wargnier (France) and many more…


MEMORY! Festival presents each year an international conference. It is on a topic closely related to the main theme of the festival.
After the theme of THE CENSORSHIP on 2017 and the topic of PRESS & DEMOCRACY ON SILVER SCREEN in 2018, this year will be focusing on the preservation of the cultural heritage as part of MYANMAR 100.

Myanmar Film 100 is a program conducted in the frame of MEMORY! Festival 2019 with the Cinema Department of Ministry of Information (IPRD-MMPDB) and that aims at gathering lost films from Myanmar or about Myanmar.

The idea is to get as many countries as possible involved in a process of supporting the 100th anniversary of Myanmar Cinema taking place in 2020. Today, the situation is critical. Most of the films are dispersed, damaged or destroyed by time.

In the frame of MEMORY! Festival 2019, Myanmar 100 aims to bring as many additional feature films as possible as well as footages and documentaries in order to contribute to enriching the national collection.

France, Italy, Germany, and Australia have already agreed to contribute in 2019.

MEMORY! has located the movie Mhone Shwe Yiaka Sweet Moon (1970) in the Arsenal German Film archive and they kindly accepted to lend its copy for a digitation that took place at the Italian-French based laboratory L’image retrouvée/L’immagine ritrovata.

Australia government will also provide a precious 1905 footage from its Corrick Collection, Working Elephants, hosted at the National Film and Sound Australia.

Both elements, Mhone Shwe Yi and Working Elephants will be handed over to the Government of Myanmar and its Myanmar State Archive.


Myanmar Script Fund

Myanmar Script Fund is a program for emerging local filmmakers working on their first or second full-length feature film. MSF is intended to help connect filmmakers from Myanmar with international audiences.
The 4th edition of MSF taken place during MEMORY! festival from Nov. 13 to 19, 2019 at the Film Development Center (FDC), Yangon.

The program includes professional workshops combining individual consultancies on script-writing, producing, and plenary sessions intended to provide insight into the international film market. The Fund’s objective is to support emerging filmmakers during the development process and to assist them in honing their professional skills. At the end, the candidates present their projects during a pitch session in front of a JURY comprised of international film experts. In 2016, the jury was presided by the director Michel Hazanavicius (France) and in 2017 by the director Midi Z (Taiwan). In 2018, it was chaired by Vietnamese director Phan Dang Di. And in 2019, the jury is chaired by French Director Claude Mouriéras.

Previous awarded projects:

MSF Laureates 2018
THE BEER GIRL OF YANGON by Sein Lyan Tun. Producer John Badalu
30,000 USD of in-kind post-production from Digital District.
SHE CALLED IT FREEDOM by Myat Minn Khant. Producer Khin Warso
Khin Warso, an highly promising female producer, will be invited to participate in a week-long producers’ Lab at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland in August 2019 which will help her develop her skills.

MSF Laureates 2017
FRUIT GATHERING by Aung Phyoe. Producer Aung Phyoe
WAY BACK HOME by Nay Chi Myat Noe Wint. Producer Kaung Sint                                                   .

MSF Laureates 2016
FOUR LEGS by Mg Sun. Producer Ma Aeint
SATURDAY BORN ARIES by Nwaye Zar Che Soe. Producer Soe Arkar Htun

The Myanmar Script Fund works in close collaboration with Open Doors, a program managed by the Festival Locarno (Switzerland). It is supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (Switzerland), Forever Group (Myanmar), Arte (France), Institut français (France), Canal+ Myanmar, Digital District (France) & Transition (Czech Republique).

Journalism & Culture Program

We strongly believe that culture is not only entertainment but also a key pillar for all democracies. We believe also that the press’ freedom is a key condition to develop the democracy in Myanmar. Our common objective is to involve Myanmar emerging journalists to cover such a culture event which is also a political & social event.
Associated with the Myanmar Journalism Institute, we have developed the following program:

The participants to the curriculum are around 20 students from Myanmar Journalism Institute.
MJI’s professors start the dedicated program at the beginning of October.
The workshop starts at the end of October supervised by journalists Carol Isoux & Jérôme Boruszewski (2017-2018) and Laure Siegel & Thierry Falise in 2019.
The workshop is shared in two parts:
End of Oct – Festival’s Opening: Theorical sessions
Festival: Practice with daily coverage of MEMORY! Festival & guests.

At the end of the workshop, a newspaper in Burmese, the Bioscope News, gathered all the articles. Printed in 3.000 free copies.

The 2nd edition of this program, in 2018, was supported by Parliaments and People Program / University of SOAS (London). The 3rd edition by European Union in Myanmar and the French Embassy.

In 2018, MEMORY! International Film Festival was proudly supported by the following Partners:

Ministry of Information of Myanmar
Embassy of France in Myanmar
Institut français
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
European Union in Myanmar

Rosewood Yangon
Forever Group

Centre National du Cinéma
Rice Communications
Immagine Ritrovata
Embassy of United States of America in Myanmar
Embassy of Australia in Myanmar

Myanmar Motion Picture Organisation
Open Doors (Locarno Festival)
Myanmar Journalism Institute
Yangon Walls
Le Planteur
SBA wine
Gulliver Travels
Max +

If you want to become a partner of MEMORY! Film Festival, please send us a message through our contact form.

© Stephen Kelly

Myanmar 100

The Myanmar 100 Program will take place over a period ending in 2020, for the 100th anniversary of the Myanmar cinema history. The project is developed by the MEMORY! Cinema Association committed to safeguarding worldwide cinema heritage.

The project is comprised of three foundational components:

The Lost Film Search and the Restoration of Myanmar Classics programs aim to establish a national film collection. Our initial assessment revealed a dire situation: less than twenty titles still have celluloid elements that could permit restoration work. Among them, MYA GA NAING (1934) by Maung Tin Maung restored in 2016, PYO CHIT LIN (1950) by Tin Myint restored in 2017 and MHONE SHWE YI (1977) by Win Oo restored in 2019.

The physical preservation of the films and film-related materials such as posters, scripts, photographs, sound recordings, press and advertising materials is a crucial part of cinema history and, even more importantly, of national cultural memory.
Urgent action is required to process existing collections as soon as possible, as physical decay and degradation are already taking their toll. Another part of this task involves searching and collecting these kinds of materials throughout the country and abroad.

The creation of the National Film Archive of Myanmar is the ultimate purpose of this Project. As a key cultural venue in Yangon and a model in the ASEAN region, the Archive will highlight the rich history of Myanmar cinema, offer diverse programming of Myanmar and foreign films, and educate younger generations. It will house a comprehensive National Film and Media Collection and help inspire future film talent.

MEMORY! Mobile Cinema

MEMORY! Cinema Association joins forces with International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, to launch the MEMORY! Mobile Cinema Program within Lighting Myanmar Project Campaign, showcasing Myanmar national film treasure, MYA GA NAING (1934) by Maung Tin Maung, in remote villages of Myanmar.
MEMORY! Mobile Cinema Program aims to bring MYA GA NAING, part of national collective memory, to the people leaving in rural areas, where the access to electricity and culture is very limited.

MEMORY! Mobile Cinema starts in December 2018 and will travel during four months in 2019 in Irrawaddy, Bago & Magway Regions and also Mon State.
During this tour, more than 60 screenings will be organized.

The First Row will be held in 16 small villages of the Irrawaddy Region from December 12, 2018 to January 11, 2019.
During this tour, the townships concerned are Ingapu, Henzada, Pantanaw, Maubin & Mawgyun.

The Second Row will be held in 16 small villages in Bago Region from January 18 to February 15, 2019.
The townships concerned are Paukkhaung & Pyay.

The Third Row will be held in Mon State & Irrawaddy Region (15 villages) from February 17 to March 17, 2019.

The Four Row will be held in 16 villages in Magway & Irrawaddy Region from March 20 to May 3, 2019.