Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Rocket: Laos-set film wins at Tribeca

The Wall Street Journal and others have been announcing that The Rocket, a film set in Laos has won several top honors at the Tribeca Film Festival. According to the Wall Street Journal:
"The Rocket" earned the Best Narrative Feature prize, which, like other top film and director honors, comes with a $25,000 cash award. And the film's young star, Sitthiphon Disamoe, was named Best Actor for his performance as a 10-year-old boy whose impoverished life is transformed by amateur rocketry.
The Tribeca Film Festival is a film festival that was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, reportedly in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the TriBeCa neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. Now in its 11th year, it has grown to international acclaim.

I absolutely loved Bomb Harvest, a documentary made by the same team, so I'm looking forward to this one. They have a great command of story and visuals. Also, I admit, I do appreciate the do-it-yourself steampunk aesthetic that pokes through here and there in this one.

You can see the trailer here:

I just hope Lao voices will continue to be heard in our words, from our authentic perspective. It's important that we ourselves value our own voices, whether or not we have the acclaim of others, and that we recognize the many different ways to be Lao, without compromising ourselves for marketability.

We need many types of stories from our community, not just those that rehash tired narratives that serve neocolonial interests and justify perpetuation of corruption and faceless plutocracy, so I hope that many of our other emerging and established film-makers will stand up, take notice, and see this as a door, not a dead-end. To treasure our journeys, and find a passion to tell engaging and amazing stories.

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