BURMA VJ

BURMA VJ

Anders Østergaard

2008 84 min.

Original version in English and Burmese with Spanish and Catalan subtitles

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Technical specs

    • Director: Anders Østergaard
    • Screenplay: Anders Østergaard, Jan Krogsgaard
    • Producer: Magic Hour Films ApS
    • Executive Producer: Lise Lense-Møller
    • Edit: Janus Billeskov Jansen, Thomas Papapetros
    • Sound: Marting Hennel
    • Suitable for all audiences

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Sinopsi

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. Armed with small handycams the Burma VJs keep on stop at nothing to make their reportages from the streets of Rangoon. Their material is smuggled out of the country and broadcast back into Burma via satellite and offered as free usage for international media.

Joshua, age 27, tells us the way in which his group of young reporters gets organised when the monks lead a massive but peaceful uprising against the military regime in 2007. After the initial protests, foreign TV crews are banned from entering the country, so it is left to Joshua and his crew to document the events and establish a lifeline to the surrounding world. It is their footage that keeps the revolution alive on TV screens all over. The regime quickly understands the power of the camera and the reporters are constantly chased by government intelligence agents who look at the ”media saboteurs” as the biggest prey they can get.

The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching.

About direction (Anders Østergaard)

Anders Østergaard was born in Copenhagen, 1965. He graduated at the Danish School of Journalism. Between 1991 and 1996, he worked as editor and advertising strategist, as well as, more punctually, as director assistant for the documentary unit at the public Danish television. His career as a documentary director started in 1996. Among their works, there are The Magnus,  awarded as the best documentary in the Odense Film Festival in 1999, and two documentaries he wrote and directed: the international co-production Tintin et Moi (2003) – released in 2007 in the framework of The Documentary of the Month – and Gasolin (2006).

Awards & Festivals

  • Academy Award Nominee Best Documentary Feature, EUA, 2010.
  • World Cinema Documentary Editing Award at Sundance Film Festival, EUA, 2009
  • Joris Ivens Award and Human Rights Award at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam), The Netherlands, 2008.
  • Best Documentary and Amnesty awards at CPH:DOX (Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival), Denmark, 2008.