Myanmar Motion Picture Academy Awards
The Myanmar Motion Picture Academy Awards are film awards given annually in Burma presented to the biggest achievers in the Cinema of Burma. The awards ceremony has been held annually since 1952. Each winner is presented with a golden statue and in recent years also a cash prize. To date, actor Nyunt Win has won a record seven awards, followed by director Thukha, actor Yan Aung and cinematographer Than Nyunt with six each, and Myint Myint Khin, Mg Tin Oo, Kyaw Hein, Mo Mo Myint Aung, Kyi Soe Tun and May Than Nu with five each.
In the beginning, only three kinds of awards (Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress) were given out. Since then, the number has steadily grown to 14. Since 1994, the Committee of Myanmar Motion Picture Academy Awards has presented at least 11 kinds of awards:
- Best Picture
- Best Director
- Best Screenplay
- Best Actor
- Best Actress
- Best Supporting Actor
- Best Supporting Actress
- Best Music
- Best Cinematography
- Best Film Editing
- Best Sound
The significance of the awards has fluctuated along with the health of Burmese cinema. The number of eligible film entries each year has declined dramatically since the 1980s. Due to heightened competition from foreign films and other entertainment media as well as escalating costs of production, the number of feature-length Burmese films has gone from nearly 100 films per year in the 1970s to barely more than ten today. The number of films screened were 95 in 1978, 75 in 1983, 65 in 1985. In 2008, only 12 were screened. As the Burmese film industry struggles to produce films each year, films that do get produced are mostly with established directors, actors and actresses. Most Burmese films today are dominated by comedies.
The result is that the same coterie of players win the award year after year from a much shallower pool. It used to be that only few actors and actresses could claim as "academy award winner" or even fewer still as "repeat academy award winner". Venerable actors of old like Win Oo and Kawleikgyin Ne Win won just two each in their lifetime. Director Thukha and actress Myint Myint Khin who won six and five respectively were the exceptions, not the rule.
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