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Burmese teams win top three prizes at ASEAN animation contest 2014

A still from the award winning Burmese animated film, "Don't Let the Creativity Fall" (PHOTO:Bangkok Post )

The animated short film ‘Don’t Let the Creativity Fall” by the Linn Htet Maw team from Burma was awarded first prize at the Animation Contest for ASEAN, recently held at Software Expo Asia 2014 in Bangkok.

The movie presents the idea that creativity is like a tree, producing many things like creators. This tree produces digital content like movies, music and games. The tree was infringed by invaders who violate the copyright and try to destroy the tree. At the end of the story, the team tries to express the idea of not letting creativity fall and to respect intellectual property rights”.

Linn Htet Maw, visual effects artist director, pointed out the reason behind the animated story was that in his country, they have copyright problems. The animation industry started to decline after 2002 and 2003 in Burma . “This short movie relates to my experience,” said the team leader, who worked with three other people — an audio engineer, a concept and story board producer and a modelling animation and composer — to make the movie.

In Burma, Maw said the animation industry is in a bad shape, but animators survive with TV commercials and advertising. “We will continue and make animation, a longer version of animation, something for the whole ASEAN region; because we think the quality is good enough and we will spread to other countries.” This is the first time the team has entered the contest, so it is a big win. They were awarded the first prize, receiving an air-ticket to the US with five-day training in animation or film in the US and a monetary reward of 100,000 baht.

The second prize was also given to a team from Burma, Neutron Animation Group. The “Beyond the Protection” animation project expresses the idea that “every production is a matter of imagination”.

The story is about an old man planting a tree and when the flowers bloom, he sells it to customers. However, a thief steals the plant and it withers. He tries to regrow, but is not successful. He then tries to return it. But when he arrives at the old man’s house, the old man has passed away. The thief is shocked and drops the plant pot, which shatters into pieces. The thief sees the heart of the old man among the broken pieces.

“This story says that something that we do not value is vital for the original owner,” said Aung Ye Kyan, the team leader.

The team received an air-ticket to Japan with five-day study visits or training at animation houses and a cash reward of 70,000 baht.

“Protection” by Ye Win team, also from Burma, won the third prize and received a cash prize of 50,000 baht.

Only one team from Thailand, Rocky Dolly Studio, won a consolation award and received 30,000 baht. The project named “Spender” is a mixed-media of 2D and 3D short animation that promotes copyright awareness. The story begins in a happy world where colour and imagination coexist, run by little imaginians. They are a group of cheerful and creative little guys, but their happy lives are short because people don’t support their awesome creations.

Poe Sriwatanathamma, the team leader, explained that colours are artists’ souls, so don’t rip it away by supporting piracy. This animation shows that “spending unwisely leads to destruction of a nation’s intellectual property”.

Lak Taechawanchai, vice-president of Thai Digital Entertainment Content Federation (TDEC), also a committee member of the contest, said that many teams from Thailand are best at character design, but for the concept, Burmese teams are more touching.

According to the contest, the judging criteria covers concept and content (originality, creativity and accuracy), techniques of production, and characters and design.

Thailand, as appointed by the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Co-operation as a co-country champion in the field of copyright under the initiative, organised the Animation Contest for ASEAN 2014 project to increase copyright awareness to the public, encourage the creation of new animations in ASEAN as part of copyright work, stimulate the growth of the animation industry in the region, improve skills and competencies of authors on the creation and commercialisation of animated motion pictures, and share experience and knowledge more widely among animators, and to boost networking ties for animators and the animation industry in ASEAN

All the final six animation projects will be further promoted to be spot advertising throughout the ASEAN region.

 

This article was originally published in the Bangkok Post on 10 September 2014