Myanmar, 2014

⇒ To see the full-length documentary, click here.

‘When I dance I want everyone to laugh’. The irrepressible Shwe is a hairdresser by day and a transgender performer during the night. While his compatriots tend to be shy, Shwe chose to be out, extroverted and outspoken.

Shwe tells his story of how he came to own his own beauty parlour. After running away from a violent father, he took refuge at a monastery before being taken under the wing of a gay man who helped him find work. Shwe now is able to send money home to help build a monastery in his home village.

Shwe is a beautiful documentary film debut for director Christ, who had no filmmaking background before taking part in a workshop, the Rainbow Reels, as part of the preparations for Myanmar’s first LGBT &PROUD Film festival in 2014. The film portrays gay life in a conservative and religious country through the life and exuberant personality of its charismatic protagonist.

Rainbow Reels Workshop is an initiative to foster a cohort of new young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film makers in Myanmar.

Main Character: Shwe
Director: Christ
Camera: Zaeya and Phyo Tit Luu
Sound: Ye Naung, Naung Naung
Assistant editor: Pan Mo Mo Chit
Editor: Zaw Win Htwe
Production Mentors: Pe Maung Same, Khin Thethtar Latt, Lei Lei Aye and Zaw Win Htwe
Production Design: Zarko C

Exposure so far:

  • Screening at &PROUD, LGBT Film Festival, Yangon, Myanmar, November 2014
  • Screening in several cities in Myanmar, January – May 2015
  • Screening at KASHISH Muambai International Queer Film Festival, India, May 2015
  • Screening at Stockholm Film Festival, Sweden, 2015