Films from Indochina and the Himalayas
Penpak Sirikul in POP AYE
Along with films from China (see The New Silk Road), Korea, Japan and India, FILMFEST MÜNCHEN will present choice discoveries from less well-known Asian territories such as Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Afghanistan.
From Singapore comes a big-hearted film with an irresistible protagonist: an elephant. POP AYE by Kirsten Tan, who will come to Munich to tell the story of this amazing film, is a relaxed road movie, the story of an unusual drop-out – a man who decides to leave the big-city rat race behind and buy an elephant, setting out on a voyage of discovery to himself.
HEMA HEMA: SING ME A SONG WHILE I WAIT
Another exceptional artistic voyage takes place in HEMA MEMA: SING ME A SONG WHILE I WAIT. The fourth film by practicing Bhutanese monk Kyhentse Norbu (who screened VERA: A BLESSING in Munich 2014) is a bizarre masked ball, a filmic fire-dance in a stunning natural setting unlike anything you've ever seen.
After THE BLACK HEN at FILMFEST MÜNCHEN 2016, WHITE SUN is another gripping film from Nepal, a blank spot on the movie map to date. In carefully composed images, Deepak Rauniyar depicts a family funeral and the deep divides in a society rent between tradition and progress.
Sri Lanka was wracked by a cruel, decades-long civil war. Young director Sanjeewa Pushpakumara looks back at the year 1989, finding almost iconic scenes in BURNING BIRDS which he arranges into an empathetic panorama it's hard to forget, winning awards around the world.
Midi Z, burmese festival shooting star of uncompromising arthouse cinema, already screened RETURN TO BURMA and POOR FOLK at Munich. His refugee drama THE ROAD TO MANDALAY follows the path of people defying death to reach a better life.
Kai Ko and Ke-Xi Wu in THE ROAD TO MANDALAY
And finally, one of the discoveries of this year's Cannes film festival: Documentarist Sonia Kronlund met an amazing local filmmaking personality in Afghanistan, Salim Shaheen, the country's most well-known actor and director, a self-made no-budget filmmaker whose filmography now comprises 109 films. In contrast to Hollywood and Bollywood, he says, filmmakers in NOTHINGWOOD work with zero budget. Kronlund paints a passionate character portrait and snapshot of a country in ruins.
POP AYE, Kirsten Tan, Singapur/Thailand
BURNING BIRDS, Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, Sri Lanka/France/Netherlands/Katar
HEMA HEMA: SING ME A SONG WHILE I WAIT, Khyentse Norbu, Bhutan/Hong Kong
THE ROAD TO MANDALAY, Midi Z, Thailand/Burma/Taiwan/France/Germany/Myanmar
WHITE SUN, Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal/USA/Katar/Netherlands
Lights! Camera! Action!
NOTHINGWOOD, Sonia Kronlund, Afghanistan/France/Germany
Sumi Malla in WHITE SUN