Luang Prabang festival spotlight the best Laos’ film

Luang Prabang Festival-goers from across the globe will descend on the World Heritage town for the event, which will run from December 1-5 and will showcase five Lao films, as well as a wealth of other titles from across Southeast A sia.

Lao thriller “At the Horizon”, directed by Anysay Keola, received critical acclaim from media overseas, after a screening at the OzAsia film festival. It will be entered into the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Australia later this year, according to BBC News.

For something a little lighter, there are the Lao romantic comedies “Hak Aum Lum”, “Always on My Mind” and “Big Heart”. “Hak Aum Lum” was produced by Lao New Wave and directed by Phanumad Disatham, who wanted to show a different side to the lifestyle, love and culture of the youth living in the Lao countryside.

In the same vein “Big Heart”, directed by up-and-coming Lao director Mattiphob Douangmyxay (also known as Toppu), touches on the romantic trials of youth and will speak to audiences young and old. The film seeks to reflect the real life issues facing young people, of overcoming obstacles and making sacrifices for loved ones.

Two ghost films from Lao Art Media “Chanthaly” and “Red Scarf” play on Lao culture and tradition to leave audiences trembling. “Chanthaly” was directed by Lao film director Ms Malavanh who grew up in the USA and got involved in movie production while working as a makeup artist.

Ms Malavanh’s film looks at the supernatural powers of Lao people’s spirit houses, while musing on the custom’s role in the culture.

“Red Scarf” was produced by Thai film producer Sakchai Deenan (Phoy) and has seen him stray from the romantic comedy films that have been his trademark.

He had success with “Sabaidee Luang Prabang” in 2008, the sequel Sabaidee 2 (From Pakxe with Love) in 2010 and Sabaidee 3 (Wedding) released in 2011.

Phoy’s newest venture will take the audience back 30 years to a small village in the north of Vientiane province, where two couples living in the countryside experience supernatural events.

Romantic comedy “Always on My Mind” was also written and directed by Phoy. Divided into four parts, it tells the story of couples who meet and fall in love in different places, sharing their sadness, happiness and romance.

These films will be screened for free in the open air night market in Luang Prabang this December, along with a catalogue of other Southeast Asian movies.