Wai Mar Nuynt
The Burmese director Wai Mar Nyunt originally graduated in art from the University of Yangon. She taught Art History for a number of years and she still displays her own artwork. The last couple of years Wai Mar has got more and more involved in the film media. The beginning was the participation in a workshop on the film school of Yangon. Wai Mar Nyunt's first effort as a director, the documentary 'Happy Days' was a significant success that made her quit her former job. The film is a portrait of her 13 year old neighbor, Shoon Lei. Wai Mars next to films were both made on request of local NGOs. 'My Positive Life' is about the everyday-life of an affectionate and humorous social worker, infected with HIV. 'Sun Behind the Clouds' describes a health worker in the state of Kachin in the north part of Burma. Wai Mar Nyunts work is among other things rewarded with a scholarship, which has brought her to the Czech Republic as a student of FAMU the Czech Academy of Film and Performing Arts in Prague.
Aada Sigurlina Niiola
Finnish Aada Niilola is a photographer as well as a director of enigmatic and almost surrealistic videos and short films. Aada Niilola was born in 1974 and has a Master in arts. Photo and film are closely linked in her artistic expression, because she sees the picture as a story beyond the individual motif: 'a photograph is an instrument for me, a possible world,' says Aada Niilola. She wants to combine different methods for image creation, based on what serves the ultimate goal as well as possible. A good example is the short film 'Kymmenen päivää', (Ten Days): The nine minute film revolves around one of the biggest themes of life: What truly matters in life? What if you became seriously ill and lost a part of yourself? The answer is only suggested: Is there any substance other than the desire to love?
Shamans live between two worlds: the one we can see with our eyes, and the one that we can only see with our souls. In this in-between space lives the female protagonist of 'Dragon Beach', and it is here that Wai Mar Nyunt and Aada Niilola's hypnotic visual poem of a film takes place. As a 14-year-old, she was singled out by a mysterious man in a dream, who told her that she was the chosen one, and later on she was rescued from dying by a deceased brother from a past life. Today, she is grown-up and can herself describe her supernatural abilities, which allow her to talk to the gods and the restless souls. And to help her fellow humans in the Burmese society, which is here seen from a different angle than one is used to - no matter if one lives outside Burma or in the country itself. 'Dragon Beach' takes the telephone to the other side, and poses the question if the world around us is no more than a reflection of our visual and cognitive habits.