Story of Jailed Democracy Activist Being Touted at AFM
Though Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was nowhere to be seen as her countrymen went to the polls in Burma's capital on Sunday, the saga of the jailed democracy activist was the subject of a new feature film project looking for investment half a world away.
Director Barbara Di Girolamo's The Noise of Silence, for which principal photography is expected to start in October 2011, was prominently featured in the international sales catalog of Rome-based Film Export Group at the American Film Market in Los Angeles.
The project, set to star Yvette Yzon, will tell the story of the Burmese woman whose democratic opposition party trounced the military-led party in the Southeast Asian country's last election in 1990.
Actors such as Will Ferrell, Jim Carrey and Ellen Page are among the Hollywood talent who have embraced Aung San Suu Kyi and her fight for democracy as a cause celebre.
"She's a fighter for human rights and decency in Asia and a symbol of hope for all people," Carrey says in a popular YouTube video sponsored by the USA Campaign for Burma, an organization that compares the military rule there to Adolph Hitler's terrorizing the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and 40s.
Now 65, Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest almost non-stop for 20 years and, according to news reports, her latest detention ends one week after the election. Polling places in Yangon appeared nearly empty on Sunday as the rest of the city went about its business around an election widely expected to put a civilian sheen on the power of the military junta.
Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Prize in 1991, the year after the last election in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar. Her party, the National League for Democracy, chose not to take part in this year's election and was forced to disband.
Director Di Girolamo's last credit was as producer on Destiny Ride, the 2008 film by Vincenzo Marano. Yzon, a Filipina, was last in the Italian film Zombies: The Beginning, from director Bruno Mattei in 2007. That film was released in the Czech Republic in 2008.
Reuters contributed to this report.