The Father I Knew (13’59”)

Director Aye Chan | Camera Htun Tauk Mo | Sound Recordist Chit Moe Pio | Editor Mi Mi Lwin | Editing Mentor Melanie Sandford

 YFS TFIK Still 14


Thirty years ago when she was a young child, Jenni’s father left his family to join the Burmese students fighting the military dictatorship. He was never to return. Now a grown woman with a family of her own, refugee worker Jenni retraces her revolutionary father’s final steps and considers the impact the country’s decades-long conflicts have had on her family and indeed a whole generation. 


Aye Chan (25) is from Bilin in Myanmar’s Mon State and studied geology at Mawlamyine University. Her work as an online editor at G9 Production and as a freelance photographer made her aware of her desire to tell stories about the lives of real people in Myanmar through documentary. Determined to learn how to do this, she enrolled at YFS in 2018, since which time she has attended a wide range of courses including Participatory Video where she learned how to help communities to create their own short films about topics close to their hearts. She was cinematographer on fellow student Chit Moe Pio’s intimate and moving portrait of his family in rural Kayah State in 2018 and was also part of the five-person creative team behind the short documentary-influenced fiction film The Other Side of the Tracks. She travelled to Kayah State again to film her own first documentary as a director – The Father I Knew – for which she received the top Goethe-Institut Myanmar documentary award.


I met the protagonist of The Father I Knew when I was working on a photo essay of Padaung women in Kayah in 2017. My impulse as a documentary filmmaker – particularly in The Father I Knew – is to show the situation for families that have been torn apart by civil war. I want to question this situation and to ask whether there is any chance that things will change for the better in our country in the face of escalating violence and widespread tensions across the land today.


Diamond Award Winner 2019 – Goethe-Institute Myanmar – Documentary Competition




Duration 13’59’’ | Format 16:9 anamorphic | System PAL | Subtitles English | 2020

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