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Myanmar Film Heritage Project

Yangon, 2016-2020

© Stephen Kelly

The Myanmar Film Heritage Project will take place over a period ending in 2020, at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Myanmar cinema history. The project is developed by the MEMORY! Cinema Association. Based in France, the association is a cultural international non-governmental organization (INGO) committed to safeguarding worldwide cinema heritage. The project is comprised of three foundational components:

Restoration

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 aka The Emerald Jungle (1934) by Maung Tin Maung, one of the key directors of classic Myanmar cinema, has been restored this year.
Mya Ga Naing Restoration

Preservation

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.

Access

The creation of the National Film Archive of Myanmar is the ultimate purpose of this ambitious 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.