Films on social issues not allowed in Myanmar: Filmmaker
Kolkata: Political change in Myanmar was "superficial" and the government was averse to films that rake up social and political issues, Burmese filmmaker The Maw Naing said here Thursday.
Maw Naing recently made his feature film debut with "The Monk" and prefers to swim against the tide.
It is one of the few features shot by a Burmese director in the neighbouring country - formerly known as Burma - in the last decade.
Also a poet, performance artist and painter, Maw Naing said there were two kinds of movies that are made in his country -- either love stories or comedies.
"The Burmese government doesn't support my kind of films because they talk about the problems of common man. I like telling stories centred on social or political issues. If the government is saying that they are changing, then why don't they allow my films?
"The media reports that there is change but change is superficial. It has not touched the common man," Maw Naing told reporters here at the ongoing 20th Kolkata International Film Fest.
Screened as part of the fest's 'Asian Select' segment, "The Monk" showcases the dilemma of a monk who has to choose between a religious life (monkhood) or opt for a secular one.
The film is a Burmese-Czech collaborative effort and was shot on location in a village near Kunchankone and also in Yangon in 2012. It opened the 49th Karlovy Vary Film Festival this year, one of the most prestigious European film fests.
"The government doesn't allow the shooting of low budget independent films that highlight issues of society," said Maw Naing, who attended the Yangon Film School and later studied directing at FAMU in Prague, Czech Republic.
A fan of Indian independent cinema, the director, who forayed into filmmaking with documentaries, said audiences in his country equate Indian cinema with Bollywood.
"We would like to see more independent cinema from India. People in Burma think Indian films are only about Bollywood. They like Bollywood films," he said.