May I extend greetings, metta and good wishes good health and well-being of all those who are present here today at this event – Union level responsible officials, members of the Yangon Region government, and artistes of the motion picture industry and technicians led by the distinguished patrons of the Myanmar Motion Picture Organization.
First of all let me say that I am very pleased to have this opportunity to deliver a speech at the Centenary Anniversary celebrations of the Myanmar Motion Picture industry, an occasion of great pride and value for all Myanmar citizens.
If we look back at the 100- year history of the Myanmar Motion Picture industry, we may see that our veteran motion picture professionals endeavoured for the survival of their fine arts and artistic techniques during different political systems, difficulties and many types of restrictions.
In the early period, during the Second World War, our Myanmar motion picture industry had to cease its operations. Since film rolls could not be imported, many difficulties had to be encountered not only for the motion picture industry but also for the livelihoods of the artistes of this industry.
Our artistes from the motion picture industry had to experience a period during which they found it difficult to develop and present their artistic talents because they had to take up temporary jobs for their livelihoods.
For making these strenuous efforts for the development and preservation of Myanmar motion picture know-how, skills and techniques to prevent its gradual deterioration and loss, during these difficult times, all of us should give these valiant veteran artistes due to recognition and take pride in their efforts.
In other words, as written by Sayar Min Thu Wun, in one of his poems:
“This old pyinma stump witnessed war, ravaged by termites, notched by the blade, scorched by the sun, unbending to the storm. Shedding old leaves after the summer, in full bloom with new leaves”.
I feel that Myanmar film artistes have tried to survive through successive eras through the vicissitudes of life holding onto their beliefs, their dreams and aspirations. It is widely understood that a movie is a fascinating subject, a blending of emotions and feelings with technology. Every genre of the movie can captivate all types of audiences from its early age until now. So, I believe that more creative efforts are needed constantly in the film industry than any other sector so as to be able to covey good and creative messages full of the essence for humanity.
The first movie appeared in the world in the late 19th century, and Myanmar could produce its first film in the early 20th century.
We might even say that the early age of the Myanmar film industry was not too late in comparing with the global movies.
The first Myanmar feature film ‘Metta and Thu Yar’ directed by London Art U Ohn Maung was first screened at the cinema.
Today, the history of Myanmar motion picture industry has reached one-hundred years. The movies have given us various feelings and messages during this period. These films were created by the use of literature, arts, machines, technology and idea. We want these creations to be valuable for the whole world. There have been many good movies that captivated the hearts of our audiences throughout the 100-year history of Myanmar motion pictures. In other words, there have been many artistes who served the country and people with their artistic skills and contributed their services. I want to urge the new generation of artistes to be inspired by these good traditions and follow their example and serve the interests of the country and people with determination.
As everyone knows, we are building and fashioning our country into a Democratic Federal Union. In other words, we are marching along the path of a union, towards the goal of a federal union, with determination and indomitable spirit, which has been the inspiration of our forefathers.
Today, at this time, the most important thing our country needs is “peace”. Why is “peace” important? We need it for our environment, for our country, for all humanity. We want to create a new peaceful world. We have set our objective as the creation of a new world; just as our citizens need peace, all of us can have peace only if there is world peace. Therefore I wish to urge all of you to participate and join in to use the power of fine arts and artistic talents so that beginning with our citizens, all the people of the world would want peace and desire to walk towards peace.
Only then would we be able to develop our artistic creations, presentation of entertainment events, the ability to enjoy and to understand, our thoughts and ideas for the benefit of humanity and the world in freedom. In conclusion, I would like to say that I fully believe that the history of all artistes remains alive in our country with their contribution in the chronicles of the Myanmar film industry since its early years to this date.
I wish to honour and recognize the contributions made by all the esteemed and veteran artistes who created the art of motion pictures and produced movies during the past 100 years. I am grateful to all the persons concerned for organizing the centenary celebrations of the Myanmar motion picture industry amid the control measures imposed for prevention of COVID-19.
Today, at this time, all of us should strive to become artistes who can work for the country and people, not only in the present but also in the future, as a way of repaying the gratitude of all the veteran artistes who had served the country and the people with their artistic abilities and skills. I request all of you to create good high-quality films. I conclude by urging all of you to participate and strive for the perpetuation of Myanmar motion pictures for hundreds and thousands of years. Thank you. I pray for your well-being, good health. (Translated by Kyaw Myaing, Aung Khin)