New Delhi (Mizzima) – A documentary film on the brutal crackdown on Buddhist monk-led protests in September 2007 by Burma’s ruling military junta, has been shortlisted among the nominations for next year’s Academy Awards.
‘Burma VJ’, which painstakingly documented the courageous struggle of the Burmese people for freedom of expression and democracy, was released in 2009 and has been shortlisted for the 2010 Academy awards, according to the United States Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Beverly Hills on Wednesday announced that ‘Burma VJ’ directed by Danish Anders Østergaard, was among the 15 films listed in the ‘Documentary Feature’ category, which will advance in the voting process for the 82nd Academy Awards.
Burma VJ, a docu-drama film highlights the risks journalists and dissidents in military-ruled Burma took during the September 2007 protests, later dubbed the ‘Saffron Revolution’. It has already won about 33 film awards including the ‘World Cinema Documentary Film Editing Award’, ‘Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award’ and has been nominated for EFA Documentaire 2009 - Prix Arte.
Toe Zaw Latt, Chief of the Democratic Voice of Burma’s Thailand Bureau, which contributed around 80 percent of the video clips used in the Burma VJ, said he is proud that the film has been shortlisted for the Academy Award.
“Now, the plight of people in Burma is not only highlighted in the international media but also in film. It also fulfilled our commitment to increase awareness on the media blacked out country [Burma] at the international level,” Toe Zaw Latt said.
The film is based on the story of an undercover reporter for the Oslo-based DVB, Joshua (27). How, equipped with a small handycam he reports from the streets of Rangoon, former capital of Burma, during the September 2007 uprising. And how he smuggled out the footage from the country, which was broadcast back into Burma via satellite by the international media such as the CNN, BBC and Aljazeera.
“Though risking torture and life in jail, courageous young citizens of Burma live the essence of journalism as they insist on keeping up the flow of news from their closed country,” said Burma VJ’s website.
Toe Zaw Latt said several DVB’s video journalists were arrested and detained in jails by Burmese security forces while taking pictures on the streets during the protest.
The 15 shortlisted films, chosen from eighty-nine films that qualified in the category, are “The Beaches of Agnes,” “Burma VJ,” “The Cove,” “Every Little Step,” “Facing Ali,” “Food, Inc.,” “Garbage Dreams,” “Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders,” “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” “Mugabe and the White African,” “Sergio,” “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” “Under Our Skin,” “Valentino The Last Emperor,” and “Which Way Home,”.
Among the shortlisted, Documentary Branch members will select the five nominees for Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009.
The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on February 2, 2010 and an award ceremony would be held at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles on March 7.