Screening Room

MIPCOM Picks 2011: Dancing with Dictators

It's often said that for the best documentaries, the filmmakers never really know what's ahead of them when they set out to tell their stories. One would be inclined to think that such was the case for director Hugh Piper when he set up cameras in the offices of the Myanmar Times.
September 26, 2011

DANCING WITH DICTATORS

Partners: Produced by Evershine; financed by Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Evershine; distributed by PBS International (worldwide) and Ronin Films (Australia and New Zealand)

Length: 1 x 57 minutes or 1 x 80 minutes HD

Premiering: October 2011 (PBS U.S.)

Rights: Worldwide

It’s often said that for the best documentaries, the filmmakers never really know what’s ahead of them when they set out to tell their stories. One would be inclined to think that such was the case for director Hugh Piper when he set up cameras in the offices of the Myanmar Times, Burma’s leading national newspaper.

Australian ex-pat Ross Dunkley (pictured), the paper’s co-owner and editor, agrees to have a crew film the activity inside the Times’ offices, ostensibly to shine a light on how journalism functions under a repressive regime. And the film certainly probes that subject matter, with sequences featuring long-suffering reporters and editors hacking away at stories by order of sensitive censors. But things take a turn for the strange when Dunkley is arrested on charges of assault – charges he continually denies – and put on trial.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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