BUSAN, South Korea - A movie shot secretly in Myanmar is in the running for a major award at Asia’s top film festival this week with its director saying he wanted to portray the "real" state of life in the country.
"It is about the truth of Burma," said Myanmar-born director Midi Z of his first full-length feature, "Return To Burma."
"It is reality cinema."
The film is among 13 wildly diverse productions from 12 countries vying for two New Currents awards at the 16th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), open to first or second-time Asian filmmakers and carrying prizes of US$30,000.
Midi Z revealed he had shot 90 per cent of the film in Myanmar and had sneaked his cameras and a small crew into the country after finding official regulations for filming "just far too restrictive."
"It is very personal," Midi Z said of the film, the title of which uses Myanmar's alternative name. "Most of the film belongs to my own experiences."
"Return to Burma" charts the story of how a man returning to the country of his birth finds the situation has not changed in the years since he left, despite what he had imagined. The director was born in Myanmar but left for Taiwan when he was 16 to further his studies.
The award winners will be announced on Friday, the final day of this year’s festival.