Luang Prabang

Lao Filmmakers Fund Supports Nine Projects: Funding News

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Lao Filmmakers Fund (LFF), established by Blue Chair (formerly Luang Prabang Film Festival), has selected nine shorts and documentaries for support in its 2023 funding round. 

Launched in 2013, LFF provides production grants for Lao shorts and feature films. This year, with support from the Lao Culture Fund of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, as well as private donors, the fund will provide $39,000 directly to filmmakers to help bring their projects to the screen.

“We’ve said for many years that LFF is the best thing we do,” said Blue Chair executive director Sean Chadwell. “The fund has as much to do with getting movies made as it does with getting them in front of audiences – in Laos and around the world.” 

Chadwell pointed out that The Signal, from Lao filmmaker Lee Phongsavanh, which had its world premiere in the Asian New Talent section of Shanghai International Film Festival earlier this month, was supported by LFF in 2019. 

As in prior years, a panel of film industry professionals reviewed and ranked the submissions based on the merits of the projects, feasibility of their budgets and timelines, and their goals for reaching audiences. 

Projects can be funded for one or more of three stages of making a film: pre-production, production, and post-production. The fund also supports applications for workshops, as well as financial support for Lao filmmakers submitting finished projects to international film festivals.


Heir To The Artisanship Of Lane Xang (Documentary short)
Province: Luang Prabang
Director: Noppavin Chittasy

Nelanith Lattanakone is a grandson in the Lattanakone silversmith family in Luang Prabang. At 23 years old, Nelanith is focused on developing his artistic skills and continuing the family business with knowledge passed down from the Lane Xang era. This profile of Nelanith will showcase traditional cultural expressions in Luang Prabang. 

100 Years Of Taiwania (Documentary feature)
Province: Houaphanh
Director: Ting Veu

LFF is supporting pre-production of this documentary about a remote Hmong village on the Laos/Vietnam border struggling to protect the Taiwania tree from illegal logging. Sacred to the Hmong people, Taiwania trees are now endangered. The loss of the trees also means a loss of livelihood, traditional cultural expressions and important religious rites in the Hmong community. 
Khaopiek Koksomsa (Documentary short)
Province: Vientiane Capital
Director: Khamphat Her

Auntie Phet is the subject of this film exploring the challenges and rewards of running a noodle shop. For many years she served Khaopiek to students and civil servants — not from a shop, but from under a rain tree near the National University of Laos in Vientiane.
Love From The City Center (Fiction short)
Province: Luang Prabang
Director: Soukchinda Douangphachanh

Two brothers in Luang Prabang must sell Mak Beng on the streets to earn money for their family. Set during the annual Festival of Lights, traditional customs of Luang Prabang are entwined in this short fictional film told from the point of view of the brothers. 
My Art Diary (Documentary short)
Province: Luang Prabang, Vientiane Capital
Director: Pakornkham Boualek

First episode in a planned series of short docs highlighting contemporary artists in Laos. Three artists who use scissors as one of their tools will be featured: Tcheu Siong applies traditional Hmong techniques of embroidery and reverse applique; Keomany Souvannalth uses fabric scraps to create collage “paintings” of the dreams of the happiness of women; and Khampoun Seangmany is a young designer who considers his creations to be artworks that are worn.
P.M. 2.5 (Fiction short)
Province: Vientiane Capital and Phongsaly
Director: Hatthouna Manivongsy

From condemnation of swidden (often confused with ‘slash and burn’) agriculture on social media to a more nuanced understanding of the reasons behind it, this social satire follows Namvone, a passionate writer, to a rural village to see first-hand the struggle for survival by people with few options. Working with Khmu villagers, this short film will highlight the culture of the Khmu ethnic group.
The Rock – The Spirit Of Our Ancestors (Documentary short)
Province: Luang Prabang
Writer: Keo Yang
Director: Khamla Lao

This short documentary will give insight into the Kaokayeng, a significant site for Hmong people where wishes can be made in return for an oath. From her village in the mountains in Luang Prabang province, Keo Yang will share history and beliefs passed down from ancient times and provide perspectives from young Hmong people on traditional Hmong culture.

The Sound From The Silent World (Fiction short)
Province: Vientiane Capital
Producer: Misouda Heuangsoukkhoun
Director: Phonesavanh Saengphachan

A short drama film about a young girl who has lost her voice and is bullied at her school. A special gift from a stranger changes her tragic life, but must be sacrificed to protect the one she loves. Music will feature as a voice in this film with limited dialogue exploring issues around harassment, LGBTQ and disabilities.

The Witness (Fiction short)
Province: Vientiane Capital
Producer: Kongchan Phiennachit
Director: Mitpasa Sitthihukpanya

Inspired by a viral social media clip, this short horror film will explore consequences of witnessing domestic violence as a child. Set in present-day Laos, the film aims to question the role of memories, superstition, and fate in the actions that perpetuate violence.