The Road to Mandalay


a film by Midi Z

Winner: Best Film, FEDEORA  Award, Venice Film Festival 2016

 Released in the UK & Ireland  29 Sep 2017


A tale of doomed love between two illegal immigrants who resort to human traffickers to escape Myanmar into a less than welcoming Thailand…
Taiwan-based filmmaker Midi Z returns with his fourth feature, The Road to Mandalay, and arguably his best work to date. Continuing his preoccupation with exiles from Myanmar’s ethnic Chinese minority, this love story follows two illegal immigrants as they resort to human traffickers to help them cross the Mekong river over the border into a less than welcoming Thailand. As they reach Bangkok, Lianqing soon finds herself drifting from one worthless job to another, and she gets closer to fellow illegal immigrant Guo who she met on the journey. With her unwavering determination to obtain identity papers, she soon realises that her hopes for the future are far from his, and ultimately their love is doomed. The Road to Mandalay is a powerful portrait of the trials and tribulations of those seeking to escape conflict and poverty in Myanmar in search of a better life.

An eerie soundscape alongside dreamlike, and almost surreal sequences, amplify the disillusionment, displacement and alienation felt by the characters, while Midi Z’s regular actress Wu Ke-xi gives a striking performance, alongside Taiwanese star Kai Ko. The Road to Mandalay firmly places Midi Z among the top contemporary social realist filmmakers working in Asia today.


Official festival selections:

Venice Film Festival 2016

Toronto International Film Festival 2016

Busan International Film Festival 2016


Little White Lies ★★★★ – “A layered film that demands discussion

and analysis from its viewers.”

The Guardian ★★★★ – “Compassionate and honestly told… a real empathy machine of a movie” 

Cine-Vue ★★★★ – “a Shakespearean tragedy charting the dehumanising process of two migrants”​​

The Upcoming ★★★★ – Midi Z’s “most sophisticated film yet… “powerful to the core” 

Financial Times ★★★★ – “the power of The Road to Mandalay grows and grows” 

Screen International – “Midi Z’s control of mood, pace and performance builds an engrossing drama”

Variety – “Burmese director Midi Z continues his impressive run with an affecting drama about illegal immigrants in Bangkok”

The Skinny ★★★★ – “Burmese director Midi Z’s vivid new film follows a pair of illegal immigrants in Bangkok”

Eye for Film ★★★★ – “a strong, atmospheric piece of work that has something to say about the human spirit”


Midi Z

Headshot_Midi_ZMidi Z was born in Myanmar in 1982, and is of Chinese descent. At the age of 16, Midi moved to Taiwan having won a scholarship, and went on to study art. His thesis film Paloma Blanca was screened at various international film festivals. In 2009, he was selected as the leading screenwriter and leading director for the Taipei Golden Horse Film Academy organised by Hou Hsiao-hsien. In 2011, he made his first feature film Return to Burma which was selected for Busan International Film Festival 2011 and had its European premiere in the prestigious Tiger Awards Competition section of International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012. His third feature Ice Poison won the Best International Film Award at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014 and was Taiwan’s official entry for the Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film. He subsequently made his first documentary, Jade Miners, which was selected for Taipei International Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2015, followed by another documentary, City of Jade, which was selected for the Forum section of Berlinale in 2016. In the same year, he received the award for Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker at the Golden Horse Awards, in recognition of his excellence as a director of both feature films and documentaries, and for his contribution to Taiwanese cinema.


Written & Directed by: Midi Z

Cinematography: Tom Fan

Cast: Kai Ko, Wu Ke-xi, Yue Gai-huan, Wang Shin-hong, Zhao De-fu, Zheng Meng-lan, Pan Zheng-li, Kuang jia-en, Li Wan-wu, Xu De-wei

Producers: Patrick Mao Huang, Midi Z
Executive producers: Wang Shih-hsiung, Bob Wong, Angie Chai
Co-producers: Vincent Wang, Dominique Welinski, Aditya Assarat, Zhao De-fu, Katharina Suckale, Arfi Lamba.

Production: A Fine Times Entertainment, CMC Entertainment, Seashore Image Productions, Flash Forward Entertainment, House on Fire, Pop Pictures, Myanmar Montage Films, Bombay Berlin Film Prod.

Editor: Matthieu Laclau

Country of production: Taiwan, Myanmar, France, Germany

Year: 2016

Running time: 108 mins

Languages: Mandarin, Thai + subtitles



Glasgow Film Festival – 16 Feb 2017 – UK premiere

London – Chinese Visual Festival, BFI Southbank: 11 May 2017 – London premiere

Dublin – Made in Taiwan, Irish Film Institute: 13 May 2017 – Irish premiere

Chichester Film Festival: 17 Aug 2017

London – Regent Street Cinema: 26 Sep 2017 + reception

Sheffield – Showroom: 29 Sep-1 Oct 2017

Manchester – HOME: from 6 Oct 2017

Dublin – Irish Film Institute: 6-19 Oct 2017

Gloucester Guildhall: 27 Oct-2 Nov 2017

Hereford – The Courtyard: 7 & 9 Nov 2017

London – Deptford Cinema: 9 Nov 2017

Oxford – The Ultimate Picture Palace: 11 & 16 Nov 2017

Edinburgh – Filmhouse: 17-18 Nov 2017

Birmingham – MAC: 4-5 Dec 2017

Cardigan – Theatr Mwldan Cardigan: 11 Feb 2018

Broadstairs – The Palace Cinema: 27 Feb 2018

Milton Keynes – The Open Film Society: 16 Jan 2019


With thanks to The Next Day AgencyTND_Logo

The Next Day Agency works between Chinese language speaking countries, the UK and Europe on film production, communication and sales.