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From Burma to Fort Wayne: Film and Discussion

Re-posted from this article.

Several IPFW departments and Fort Wayne organizations are promoting the Cinema Center’s showing of “Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country.”
The May 2 event, “From Burma to Fort Wayne: Film and Discussion” is being held at the Cinema Center at Indiana Tech.

Signs barring Burmese from the Ricker’s laundry on Calhoun Street – and the subsequent apology by the owner – prompted showing the movie as a way to bring cultural understanding of what the Burmese have been through and why they are here.

“The event came together because we had an opportunity to bring the film here about the same time all the negative press about Ricker’s Laundromat and the Burmese community was going on,” said Nancy Virtue, Cinema Center board member and IPFW associate professor of French.

Minn Myint Nan Tin, Executive Director of the Burmese Advocacy Center, one of the event’s sponsors, says the film is just the start of a series of meetings that will be open to the community. The advocacy center is planning a series of potluck dinners where Burmese students and former Burmese political leaders will share personal experiences and stories about their journey from Burma to Fort Wayne.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010, the film is directed by Anders Ostergaard. It follows the September 2007 uprisings against the military government that rules the country. It was shot with handheld video cameras and smuggled from the country.

The event will start with a reception at 4 p.m., with Burmese-themed refreshments. The movie will start at 4:30. After the movie, several Burmese community advocates will talk about the film and their experiences in Fort Wayne, followed by a question-and-answer session for the audience.

Groups sponsoring the events are the Burmese Advocacy Center, Cinema Center, IPFW Diversity Council, College of Arts and Sciences, Office of International Programs, American Democracy Project, International Studies program, and International Language and Culture Studies Department.

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