The Myanmar Times
Friday, 31 October 2014
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Films recount life of Baptist missionary

Actor Phyo Ngwe Soe portrays Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson on the set of the film ‘Su Khat Tharaphu’ (Thorny Crown), due to be released next year on DVD. (U Naw Memorial Baptist Church)Actor Phyo Ngwe Soe portrays Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson on the set of the film ‘Su Khat Tharaphu’ (Thorny Crown), due to be released next year on DVD. (U Naw Memorial Baptist Church)

American Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson will be honoured with the release next year of two locally produced films about his life, aimed at marking the 200th anniversary of Mr Judson’s arrival in Myanmar.

“Next year Baptish churches in Myanmar will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Adoniram Judson’s first arrival to Myanmar,” said Dr Tha Nyan, general secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association and owner of Green Yellow Red film production company.

“No full-length documentary or historical film about him has ever made before, so we have decided to make a quality film to honour him in time for the celebration.”

Reverend U Toe Toe from U Naw Memorial Baptist Church in Yangon said Mr Judson first set foot in Myanmar on July 13, 1813. He is famed for writing and editing an English-Myanmar dictionary, and for translating the full text of the Bible into Myanmar language, a version that is still in wide use today.

The Green Yellow Red production will be directed by U Kyi Soe Tun. Dr Tha Nyan and his wife, Myanmar Academy Award winning actress Daw Myint Myint Khine, will help with the filming.

The early part of Mr Judson’s life will be scripted by the US-based Christian organisation Vision Beyond Borders, while the part covering his life in Myanmar will be written by U Kyi Soe Tun.

“I will take the historical approach in making a film about Judson, and I want to show the special bond between him and the Myanmar people,” Dr Tha Nyan said.

He said the production company will cooperate with Vision Beyond Border in its search for an American actor to play the role of Mr Judson.

“We are looking for an American actor who has an interest in learning Myanmar language because Judson learned the language and continued speaking it afterwards. He even preached in Myanmar language in his native land after living here for 34 years,” Dr Tha Nyan said.