Directed by Brian Perkins
Country: Myanmar
Year: 2015

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Golden Kingdom is the first international feature shot in Burma since the Buddhist nation opened again to the outside world. The story follows four orphan boys—novice monks—who begin experiencing bizarre, otherworldly phenomena after the monastery’s head abbot departs on a long journey. In the abbot’s absence, the world takes a supernatural turn, and the boys are left to fend for themselves as a series of bizarre events threaten to unravel the fabric of their reality. 

The film’s director, Brian Perkins, said he was inspired to make the movie after meeting orphaned young monks who managed to cultivate openhearted kindness despite Burma’s violence and political instability. His debut feature film, Golden Kingdom is a classic coming-of-age tale infused with Burmese folk storytelling, Buddhist tradition, and a little bit of magic.