The Collaborators

Aung Ko Latt and Hector Carosso can't exactly remember who slammed whom first to the tatami mat of the Takeda Ryu dojo in Tokyo, where they both trained in several martial arts over twenty years ago, but they've been friends, brothers, ever since.

Collaborating on several digital dramas and commercial projects in Japan and Myanmar, Aung and Hector have kept their eyes on developing feature film projects from Myanmar for the international market. Kayan Beauties is their first film for world distribution.

Aung has been traveling to the remote communities of the Kayah and Shan States in southeastern Myanmar since 1981, where he went to teach music in the tribal areas. In 2007, over the course of several months and undependable phone lines, Aung explained to Hector his ideas for the Kayan Beauties story, which became the basis for the screenplay.

Pre-production planning kicked into motion with Aung acquiring camera equipment, location and talent scouting, storyboarding and other logistics necessary to make the project happen. Meanwhile, Hector flew to Myanmar to research details that would flesh out the script. Filming took place in the early months of 2008 after multiple logistical delays. Five languages were spoken on the set, including Japanese when Aung and Hector wanted to discuss ideas privately while surrounded by cast and crew on the set. Conveying story changes and additions from English to Myanmar to Kayan was often an interesting exercise.

Start on editing was delayed by Cyclone Nargis that hit Myanmar with tragic and devastating effect. Editing began months after and continued into 2009, with a constant exchanges of editing notes and dvd rough footage passed between Aung in Yangon and Hector in Manhattan. The final cut was agreed upon in 2010. Throughout this process, Aung and Hector were actively attempting to secure completion funds for post-production, but the turn in the world economy made this challenge even more difficult.