Tin Win Naing’s debut feature depicts Burmese refuge migrant workers in Thailand
TORONTO — Syndicado has acquired world sales rights to “In Exile” (“Pyi Pye”), a documentary about the plight of Burmese refuge migrant workers in Thailand. World premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film will play in the TIFF DOCS program.
“In Exile” is about people who have fled their home country Myanmar, a fate they share with director Tin Win Naing. “In Exile” marks his first feature, after having filmed politically sensitive events such as the Saffron Revolution, and is the second feature doc to come out of Myanmar.
“Forced to leave his wife and children behind, he crossed illegally into Thailand, where he encountered the world of Burmese migrants toiling as plantation workers. Theirs is a world of exploitation and danger, but also of solidarity and resilience. This beautiful work of deeply compassionate first-person filmmaking is a testament to their struggle for justice. ”–Thom Powers, TIFF DOCS Programmer
As an undocumented refugee amongst refugees, filming was difficult, often dangerous for director Tin Win Naing. But “when I thought I was lost, the spirits of my protagonists gave me strength. It seemed as those those migrants who struggled the most, also had the biggest smiles” he said. (Join the director, and Perennial Lens producers Yasmin Rams and Rodney Charles, for a behind-the-scenes talk at the TIFF DOC CONFERENCE, September 13 http://www.tiff.net/events/filming-in-exile/)
“We’re moved by ‘In Exile’ and its ability to shed light on not just workers already in a harsh environment, but even more vulnerable – as refugees from long term troubled nation Myanmar. We’re impressed with both Tin’s cinematic style, and empathetic lens to a people eclipsed from the world’s media or international aid” said Greg Rubidge, President and founder of Toronto-based Syndicado.
The film is Syndicado’s sixth major festival acquisition since their international expansion headed by Aleksandar Govedarica, Regional Director for Europe, who negotiated world sales for “In Exile” at Locarno. Syndicado will introduce the film to buyers at TIFF and Nordisk Panorama.