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Making its international debut at the Burma Spring Benefit Online Film Festival, Padauk: Myanmar Spring is a timely and intimate portrait of the young protest leaders on the frontline of the anti-coup resistance. Nant, the narrator of the film, discusses how she was swept up in the movement and how the experience has politically awakened her. Co-director Rares Michael Ghilezan recalls the challenges of filming the street protests and earning the trust of the subjects. Director Jeannie Marie Hallacy and producer Gregg Butensky reveal the artistic choices, logistical issues, and ethical questions they wrestled with to bring the film to the screen.



In Padauk; Myanmar Spring, through Nant, a young, first-time protester, we meet three human rights activists whose lives have been turned upside down by the coup. As the protests continue, Nant comes to understand the truth of a brutal regime that has continued to wage war against its own people for decades. Against a foreboding backdrop, Nant’s political awakening regarding the plight of others in her ethnically diverse country gives hope for the future.


Rares Michael Ghilezan

A long-time student of Burmese politics and history, Rares jumped into the fray in May 2017 when he visited Northern Rakhine state to learn more about the Rohingya. Since then, he has been to the refugee camps in Bangladesh twice, including as a producer on Kirana Productions' Mother, Daughter, Sister. Rares has lived in Yangon since 2018 where he lead Kirana’s film project covering the protest movement of Feb 2021. A partner at Global Legal Law Firm, when he's not filming Rares is either practicing law or surfing. Ever since working at the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2006, Rares has been passionate about social justice activism and providing a voice for the voiceless.


Jeanne Hallacy

Jeanne has lived and worked in Southeast Asia for 25 years, producing and directing documentary films about human rights and social justice issues. Her films are used as educational and advocacy tools by civil society and educational institutions. Jeanne's films, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Sittwe, This Kind of Love and Into the Current were each released with an international speaking tour in the United States and Europe where the films were screened with engaged audience discussions. Jeanne is also the Director of InSIGHT Out! digital media project for youth in conflict-affected areas. She is the former Director of Programs at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand.


Gregg Butensky

Gregg is an avid traveler and long time Burma activist. He established a public lending library in the Philippines and is a co-founder of the non-profit Ethical Traveler. ​Gregg co-founded Kirana Productions with Jeanne in 2018 and serves as Kirana's Operations Director. In addition to his work on Padauk, Gregg was an Associate Producer and second cameraman for Mother, Daughter, Sister (2018).


Moderated by Kenneth Wong.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    77 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Rating
    all ages