Launched in 2016, Myanmar 100 is a program which will end in 2020 at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Myanmar cinema history. The project is developed by the MEMORY! Cinema and comprised of three foundational components: Restoration, Preservation & Access. The situation of film archives in Myanmar is alarming as most of the films of its glorious past since 1920 were dispersed, lost or time damaged. There are very little films for which celluloid elements are still available. For some films, DVD were made in the 1990s, but this is not of any help as it is very low definition, not allowing theatrical definition and moreover not enabling any restoration or preservation work.
This program was launched in 2016 with the restoration of MYA GA NAING (1934), following in 2017 by the restoration of PYO CHIT LIN (1950) and, in 2019, the preservation of an important batch of film related material and the restoration of MHONE SHWE YI (1970).
MYA GA NAING (THE EMERALD JUNGLE)
by Maung Tin Maung
Myanmar / 1934 / 97 minutes
Production: A1 Film
Cinematographers: U Myat Kyaw & U Ba Thaung
Cast: Daw Myint Myint, U Chit Shwe, U Ba Saw Gyi
Original Format: 35 mm, Black & White, 1.33 format
Music* : Khin Maung (* Silent with intertitles in 1934, music was added around 1954 and dialogues in 1970). As MYA GA NAING is on this date the most ancient Myanmar film for which celluloid elements are still available, we’ve decided to launch a restoration, as a milestone. This restoration was funded by MEMORY! Cinema, Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany & Goethe-Institut Myanmar, Swiss Development and Cooperation & Swiss Embassy in Myanmar and French Embassy in Myanmar. It was made by Cineteca di Bologna / Immagine ritrovata (Italy).
PYO CHIT LIN (MY DARLING)
by U Tin Myint
Myanmar / 1950 / 80 minutes
First release: 1950, King Cinema, Yangon
Cast: Pho Par Gyi, Pho Par Lay, Kyu Kyu
Sound : Originaly mute with cardboards
This film one of the very few Myanmar Classics still in existence. Myanmar Director U Kyi Soe Tun has miraculously preserved at this home a surviving copy of this 1950 comedy. Thanks to those film elements, and despite the absence of original negative, a full restoration project was undertaken. This restoration was leaded MEMORY! Cinema and funded by Asian Film Archive (Singapore). The restoration was made by Cineteca di Bologna / Immagine ritrovata (Italy).
MHONE SHWE YI (SWEET MOON)
by Win Oo
Myanmar / 1970
Cast: Win Oo, Aung Lwin, Khin Than Nu
Color: Black & White
This film is one of the four Myanmar Classics’ copies owned and stored by the Arsenal in Berlin. Thanks to this 35mm copie preserved a digitalization was undertaken. This digitalization was leaded MEMORY! Cinema and made by Immagine ritrovata / Image retrouvée (Paris) from print kindly lent by Arsenal – Institut for Film & Video Art (Germany).