Thursday, December 05, 2013

Lao and a culture of film

I've mentioned the UNESCO Creative Cities Network concept in the past. One of the key art forms they're interested in is cinema. For as much as I talk about throwing our cap over the wall to reach for space, I also feel strongly that we could benefit from exploring our ability to develop a robust infrastructure or many of our arts. While the Creative Cities Network model is intended at the city level, for Lao in diaspora, where we are concentrated in numbers large enough to form whole cities and neighborhoods, I wounder what we can do to reach many of these standards, not so much to make our host country's cities eligible for Creative City status, but for ourselves, because many of these goals are quite laudable.

The following list of criteria are elements of a City of Film. Might we bring those into the different Laotown zones across the US, or abroad:

* Important infrastructure related to cinema, e.g. film studios, film landscapes/environments, etc.;
* Continuous or proven links to the production, distribution and commercialization of films;
* Experience in hosting film festivals, screenings and other film-related events;
* Collaborative initiatives at a local, regional and international level;
* Film heritage in the form of archives, museums, private collections and/or film institutes;
* Filmmaking schools and training centres;
* Effort in disseminating films produced and/or directed locally or nationally;
* Initiatives to encourage knowledge-sharing on foreign films.

Ultimately, in places like Vientiane and Luang Prabang, there are several visionaries who are taking steps to create just that. Can we in the US do any less?

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