PREVIEW: Myanmar gay marriage documentary gets festival premiere

November 12, 2015

Irrawaddy Mon Amour, a documentary about a forbidden gay marriage in Myanmar, has its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) this month.


Irrawaddy Mon Amour has been selected for the mid-length competition of IDFA, the most important documentary festival in Europe.

The festival has just announced its program and the film will have its world premiere on November 21.

Made by three Italian directors, Nicola Grignani, Valeria Testagrossa and Andrea Zambelli, the film follows the story of a young homosexual couple in Myanmar that – helped by LGBT activists, Buddhist monks and village housewives – tries to celebrate love, against the fear of military repression.

Myanmar has been in the spotlight in the past days following the victory of Aung San Suu Kyi at the first free elections since 1990. Before this important moment, a military junta ruled the country for almost 50 years, repressing democracy and civil rights. Myanmar has a law that prohibits homosexual acts, section 377 of the criminal code. After the end of British rule in the 1960s, the law has been kept in existence and enforced by the military authority and punishment includes incarceration for a minimum of 10 years.

The directors have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo that aims to collect 10.000 Euros, essential to cover the post-production costs and bring the film to IDFA and other film festivals including Torino Film Festival.

The directors – who already worked together on the short documentary Striplife (2013) filmed in the Gaza Strip, CPH:DOX nominee and Torino Film Festival winner – went to Kyauk Myaung, a little village on the Irrawaddy river, in the heart of Myanmar, where they were stunned to find a strong LGBT presence in such a small community.

“The supportive and open-minded atmosphere of the people of the village allowed a lot of young people to come out. We thought it was important to make a film about choice: the choice of not giving up fundamental human and civil rights, such as freely celebrating one’s love.”

The crowdfunding campaign offers the possibility for organisations and cinemas to pre-buy the film screening, with the participation of the three directors.

For more information about the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, click here: