Full of pomp, flashy clothes and sculpted hairdos, the ceremonies, held at Thuwanna Stadium on Sunday, December 29, drew a large audience, as well as onlookers keen to see the spectacle of Myanmar movie stars parading along a red carpet worthy of Cannes.
But the 2012 Academy Awards ceremonies disappointed when, of the 12 trophies carefully lined up on stage throughout the proceedings, the Myanmar Motion Picture Organization, which runs the industry awards, gave out only nine. In past years, the MMPO has awarded 11 trophies.
Those strange circumstances, left unexplained by organizers, prompted disapproving chatter among audience members at the event, which was otherwise marked by lavish musical numbers and the rapt attention of adoring fans.
The absence of a best picture award marred what was otherwise a return to form for the ceremonies, which had begun to be seen as a chore by celebrities after 2006, when they were moved to a venue in the Myanmar capital of Nay Pyi Daw. There the actors were forced to transport teams of makeup artists and other glamour professionals from Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial and entertainment centre.
This year the awards ceremony did not lack for sparkle.
The starlet Phway Phway picked up a Best Actress trophy for her role in the drama “Let Pan,” while her co-star, Pyay Ti Oo, earned a Best Actor nod for his part in the same film, his second Academy Award.
Best Supporting Actress went to Chaw Yadanar for her role in “U,” which also netted Ko Zaw (Arr Yone Oo) this year’s Best Director award, and Zaw Min (Han Thar Myay) best editing.
Aung Ko Latt won the Best Cinematography for “Kayan Beauties,” a film set in Shan State and focusing on a group of Kayan women ensnared in a human trafficking plot. Aung Ko Latt also directed the film. Tony (Lynn) won up Best Sound for “Kayan Beauties.”
Composer Win Ko picked up a Best Music trophy for his score for “Ah Mway Khan Htike Thu Phyit Par Zay.”
The MMPO this year reintroduced a special award, not given for many years, specifically designed to recognize an emerging film artist, and which went to Yoon Yoon for “Tein Minthamee Yet Dan Dar Yi.”
Barco Co., Ltd., a production company, ran the awards this year, while Clover Solution Co., Ltd., a Barco subsidiary, constructed the stage.
U Aung Kyi, minister of information, delivered the ceremony’s opening speech, and U Lu Min, chairman of Myanmar Motion Picture Organization, addressed the audience on the challenges ahead for the Myanmar film industry.