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Burma VJ

In Burma ”Joshua”, a young video journalist of 27, works undercover to counter the military regimes propaganda and keep the world informed about the state of affairs inside the closed country. Armed with small handycams Joshua and a handful of other reporters, venture out into the streets to make news reportages at great personal risk. Their material is smuggled out of the country and broadcast back into Burma via satellite.

When, in September 2007, peaceful Buddhist monks led a massive uprising against Burma’s military regime, Burma – after decades of oblivion – suddenly returned to the world stage. Foreign TV crews were banned from entering the country, so it was left to Joshua and his crew to document the events. It was their footage that kept the revolution alive on TV screens all over the world. Joshua is thrown into the role as tactical leader of his group of reporters. Amidst marching monks, brutal police officers, and shooting military they embark on their dangerous mission and work around the clock to keep the world informed. The regime quickly understands the power of the camera and the reporters are constantly chased by government intelligence agents who look at the ”media saboteurs” as the biggest prey they can get. During the turbulent days of September, Joshua finds himself on an emotional rollercoaster between hope and despair, as he frantically tries to keep track of his reporters in the streets while the great uprising unfolds and comes to its tragic end.

WG film is co-producing a film by the eminent director Anders Østergaard on the Burma VJ:s. This is a co production with Magic Hour Films in Copenhagen. The Swedish support comes from SVT and Swedish Film Institue.

Read more about Director

Anders Østergaard was born in Copenhagen in 1965. Østergaard studied at the Danish School of Journalism and graduated in 1991 however he rejected a career in journalism. After five years in advertising and public relations wrote and directed his first documentary Johannesburg Revisited in 1996.

An international breakthrough followed in 2004 with Tintin and I and in 2006 he launched Gasolin’ – the bestselling documentary in the history of Danish cinema followed by Oscar nominated Burma VJ – Reporting From A Closed Country, which caught global attention and received 47 international awards.

Throughout Østergaard’s career he has been concerned with the boundaries of non-fiction and documentary itself.


Production info

Title: Burma VJ – Reporting from a closed country

Genre: Feature documentary

Production year: 2008

Length: 84 min


Director: Anders Østergaard

Producers: Lise-Lense Møller

Editor: Janus Billeskov-Jansen, Thomas Papapetros

With support from: The Swedish Film Insitute – Tove Torbjörnsson, Nordic Film & TV Fund – Eva Færevaag, Danida, Fritt Ord, the Danish Ministry of Education and Dansk Metal


In selection:  Academy Awards, USA 2010, Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival 2008, Bodil Awards 2009, Boulder International Film Festival 2009, Camerimage 2009, Cinema Eye Honors Awards, US 2010, CPH:DOX 2008, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards 2009, European Film Awards 2009, Houston Film Critics Society Awards 2009, Jerusalem Film Festival 2009, National Board of Review, USA 2009, Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival 2009, PGA Awards 2010, Robert Festival 2009, Sundance Film Festival 2009, Yerevan International Film Festival 2009