3-Act:the film industry is not quite dead

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In the hope of improving and changing Myanmar’s film world, a new local magazine named 3-Act is now available for readers. The tri-annual publication ‘3-Act’ is the first ever magazine on the Myanmar market with the contents dedicated entirely to cinema. Despite having released just one issue, it has already made its way onto the top-selling publications list winning the attention of readers and especially those in the Myanmar movie industry.

The theme and overall message throughout the printed contents is yokeshin har ma thei ma shin (the film industry is not quite dead).

“The current situation of Myanmar’s film industry is neither quite successful nor declining too much.

It keeps going as ‘not quite dead’. That’s why I am sharing this message,” said founder and publisher Moe Myat May Zarchi, who is also a movie director.

In conformity with the name ‘3-Act’, the magazine contains three sections of contents but it already has a limitation to its publishing period: only three years. The publisher’s objective is for the magazine to be of help as a tool for knowledge and a reference or guidance for people in the movie world and movie lovers.

The Act-1 of three sections of the book includes reports about what is going on in Myanmar’s movie industry as well as reviews of the general contemporary film scene and Myanmar’s film history and heritage.

In the Act-2 section are contents about cinematographic techniques, the art of movies and practical creativity. Specifically, the messages, knowledge and shared experiences in this section are for promising or rising movie directors rather than the experienced. Why? Most of the contents in this part are interviews with rising film directors who are expressing their new thinking or imagination. Among the rest of the contents are voices of some experienced movie directors.

The last part Act-3 of the book is about knowledge and theory of the art of film. Relevant articles are printed in this section as well as history pieces. Of them, some are translated articles.

3-Act represents not only a magazine but also a communicative tool and the team behind it comprises of nine rising youths of Myanmar’s film industry. Some of their personal work is in the contents of the magazine and they are key members in its production too. It’s obvious that the youthful team is passionate about and satisfied with the project and how it aligns with their objective to help Myanmar’s film industry develop.

Publisher Moe Myat May Zarchi said, “We are not doing this as a business venture but doing it as we love film. The printing process is just one expense but the rest of the effort going into the magazine is an outcome of our cooperative efforts. You can see there is no commercial advertisement in the magazine. We do plan to publish it every four months however, and have to think about funding support or selling commercial ad space for the long term success.”

The lady behind 3-Act, 24 year old Moe Myat, has a solid goal to become a professional movie director for a living. Since 2010, she has been making films and has been actively attending workshops in Yangon ever since she graduated from high school. She attended several different academic institutions, taught herself photography and even followed her path as a musician for two years. Instead of continuing her music career, in 2015 she attended one-year filmmaking diploma course at New York Film Academy in the US with the aspiration of becoming a director. During her studies, she wrote and directed eight short films in total and also worked in different filmmaking roles in her class projects. For her thesis project she wrote, directed, edited and produced a short film ‘My Lover Never Came.’ Currently, she is undertaking the role of assistant director in the making of the much talked-about film ‘Tha Sane Eain’ (Stranger’s House).

Despite having not yet directed a locally-made film herself, Moe Myat said she is still excited for a chance to take a leading role in the making of a film here. The particular type of film she likes is a reflection of the social environment happening around her, and a combination of true events and fiction.

The idea to publish such a book occurred to her one year ago and she started organizing it in October last year and began to form a team. From January 2018, she and her team were busy working on the copy and design and finally the 190-page magazine came out in May. The circulation now is 1,000 copies and it is available in Yangon and Mandalay.

To the satisfaction of the publisher, as soon as the magazine came out on bookshelves, there was a buzz among the readers and plenty of good feedback, especially regarding the contents and design. What makes it different from other books is that this can be a sort of guidebook-like magazine and a helpful reference book for movie-lovers and all readers.

Moe Myat concluded that it is time for a change and she aims for the book to be helpful in moving the Myanmar film industry into a new era.

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Theingi Htun is a journalist who worked for two years at Yangon Times Journal and Flower News. She also worked for two years at Democracy Today News as Senior Journalist. She wrote many articles about culture, the travel sector and lifestyle stories too. Now she is working at My Magical Myanmar as a travel writer and social media executive."


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