If you're in Luang Prabang this weekend, be sure to catch the Luang Prabang Film Festival!
The Luang Prabang Film Festival only shows films from Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), and from across all genres. Currently, their main focus is feature films from these countries, but they also include sidebar programs of short film collections from Laos and the region.
Among the Lao entries this year are Red Scarf, I Love Savanh, and Hak Aum Lum.
Hak Aum Lum, "Sack, a pop singer, returns to his birthplace once again after having left to pursue his dream. In doing so, he also left many people behind, especially Sopha, his long-time lover. Sack’s return to his tranquil and charming village brings back many fond memories and makes him realize how happy he is now. However, troubles follow as the result of Sack leaving the music company without permission. How is Sack going to solve all the problems with his music company and lover so everyone will trust and love each other again?"
The Red Scarf which "tells the story of a young girl on the verge of poverty who meets a boy who is too good to be true."
I Love Savanh, "A young Japanese man on a company mission to Savannakhet learns about the language and culture of a "less developed" country than his own. At first, he thinks that he cannot stay for long, but receives a warm welcome by the staff of the local company and through their hospitality, he soon begins to appreciate the rich local culture of cotton weaving and dying. Before the end of his visit, he meets and falls in love with a Lao woman, and his relatives later visit Laos to attend their wedding. He unexpectedly begins a new life through his visit to Laos."
We don't see an entry from Mattie Do for this year, but hopefully we will see something from her for next year's festival to follow up her acclaimed Chanthaly.
There are also a number of very interesting sounding shorts from Laos scheduled, including Stitching our Stories and Our Lives on Film. There's a lot planned and as it enters its latest year, it's clear the organizers are really building a wonderful tradition we can all look forward to. Here's hoping they get even more support in the future!