Image: Soe Moe, film director and artist, giving special commentaries on Made in Dagenham at the press show at the Traders Hotel, Grand Ballroom on 1 November 2012. Photo by Boothee © Astrophoto.
The European film festival has been the mainstay of the international arts scene in Myanmar for the last 21 years. Primarily funded by the British, French, German and Italian embassies, the festival started out as a private screening – invitation only - in the Ambassadors’ respective residences. In 1998, the festival was held for the first time at the Thamada cinema hall with an open invitation to the public.
Following the success of the public show, annual European Film Festivals have been organised with each embassy taking turn in designing the festival as a lead organiser. With the support of the UK film team in London, British Council Myanmar has showcased a range of interesting, challenging and entertaining films, creating the chance for Burmese audience to gain a deeper understanding of UK culture and society.
In 2013, the programme was extended to ten days instead of its usual one week. In 2015, the number of participating countries increased to 11 with the inclusion of the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden contributing to the ever-growing fascinating selection of global films. Britain’s ‘Pride’ was particularly well received by the Burmese and international audience.