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Nay Chi

Sometimes you need to see your limitations as an opportunity

December, 2023
Goethe Institut Myanmar Documentary Competition
Special Mention
Yangon, Myanmar

Synopsis

Beautiful drawings of long-limbed women draped in fantastic-looking gowns adorn the walls of Nay Chi’s home in rural Myanmar. ‘These outfits are not for me’ she says with a twinkle in her eye, ‘but the models will look stunning in them!’ Her mobility may be constrained but Nay Chi is not the type to let incapacity hold her back from becoming a fashion designer. And, as she moves her body determinedly from sewing machine to drawing board and downstairs to where the neighbourhood kids play ‘catwalk’ and Granny lies dozing, we cannot fail to be infected by her disarming honesty and indefatigable lust for life.

‘A powerful, heart-warming portrait that does not victimise the protagonist but instead celebrates the many ways she chooses to embrace her existence.’

Goethe Institut Myanmar Documentary Competition jury

Director's Statement

‘My father told me about Nay Chi when I was looking for a protagonist for my second-year documentary project. No sooner did he introduce us than I fell under her spell. Her physical limitations are obvious, but they faded into the background when I began spending time with her. When things got tough during the filming, I felt like I wanted to run away but because Nay Chi never gave up I realised that, neither could I. ‘You need to live to prove that dreams are real’, she says. Now there’s a motto.’

Director's Biography

Nant May Flower is of Karen ethnicity. Born in 2002, she lives in Inn Ta Yaw village in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Region. After studying at the Migrant Learning Center in Mae Sot, Thailand, and at Theik Khar Myanmar Institute, she became interested in filmmaking and joined Yangon Film School in 2022. During her studies, May Flower has explored various roles: she was cinematographer on Nyan Lynn Aung’s Living with Elephants, sound recordist on Htet Ko Ko Paing’s Colorful Dreams and Mi Ni Ni Aung’s Black Lady Sings. Her passion for sound led her to work on the sound design of her peers Mi Ni Ni Aung’s and Yadanar Oo’s documentaries Dancing with the Spirits and Life is Salty! respectively, and she is also co-creator of a short drama, A Story About Love. Her first documentary was a portrait of a Brahmin sculptor, With Love and Devotion, which she also filmed, edited and mixed. Nay Chi marks her second film as a director.

Awards & Nominations

December, 2023
Goethe Institut Myanmar Documentary Competition
Special Mention
Yangon, Myanmar

Director's Filmography

2024
Nay Chi

Director

16‘50‘‘

2023

Cinematographer

25‘0‘‘

2023

Director/Editor

18‘41‘‘

Pictures

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