Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sound of Silence wins European festival award

After competing in the Girona Film Festival in September, Thet Oo Maung’s film Sound of Silence has finally garnered international acclaim as the director took home the 2016 Best Documentary Award.

Thet Oo Maung will screen his award-winning documentary Sound of Silence for the third time in Yangon tonight. Photo: Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar TimesThet Oo Maung will screen his award-winning documentary Sound of Silence for the third time in Yangon tonight. Photo: Nyan Zay Htet / The Myanmar Times

This is the first time the Yangon Film School graduate has won an award in Europe. The film’s success abroad – both at the Girona Film Festival and acceptance to the Art of Film Festival in Cannes – has inspired Thet Oo Maung to screen his documentary chronicling the life of a disabled former KNU army official for a third time in his hometown, Yangon.

Like the first screening of his film at the Human Rights and Human Dignity International Film Festival in 2014, Sound of Silence will be censored yet free of cost at Phandeeyar: Myanmar Innovation Lab on October 26 in Yangon as part of the Creatives Meetup: Screening of Human Rights Awarded Films and Documentary series.

“They contacted me to make this event just after they heard that the film won an award,” he said.

Thet Oo Maung’s persistence with screening Sound of Silence, uncensored and in its original form, speaks to his ongoing commitment to documenting Myanmar’s untold stories. Though the story of Sound of Silence is not a new one, the effects of the clashes between the KNU and the Tatmadaw are long lasting and pertinent to this day.

“Some people ask me questions like ‘Why did you make a film about an army soldier?’ because they hate the Burmese army,” Thet Oo Maung told The Myanmar Times earlier this year. “They want a story about a political prisoner or a war hero instead of one about a Burmese soldier … But it’s art; you have a right not to like it.”

Sound of Silence will screen at the Phandeeyar Community Centre at 6pm tonight. To attend, please register online to receive a free ticket to the screening.