The ninth annual Luang Prabang Film Festival will take place from December 7 to 12 and feature a range of feature and short films, public discussions and other events.
This year’s spotlight is on Indonesian cinema. Kolektif project manager Gayatri Nadya has assembled a full day of programming and a lively discussion with movie experts and filmmakers.
Recent years have seen a cinematic resurgence in Indonesia as it opens to more foreign investors, builds more theatres, and continuously breaks its own box-office records.
New and exciting Indonesian talent has emerged, making a notable impact on the international festival circuit with a fresh vision that has won high praise from critics and audiences alike.
The Luang Prabang festival’s “visual identity” this year is inspired by vintage travel posters, in support of Visit Laos Year 2018. The main design features a chic Southeast Asian filmmaker location-scouting in Luang Prabang during the festival.
Manilla Chounlamountri, art director of the Vientiane-based Me-Idea Full Service Agency, came up with the concept.
“We feel a lot of pressure to top our previous years’ graphics and we’re confident that our designer has somehow accomplished it once again,” says festival director Gabriel Kuperman.
“I love all the references within the visual. You have the throwback travel-poster feel, the empowered female filmmaker, the backdrop of this gorgeous little town with its mixture of traditional Lao and colonial French architecture, and of course, there’s our intimate festival stuck in there so naturally.”
Last year’s festival welcomed 22,000 attendees with screenings, panel discussions and live performances of dance, theatre and music.
This year’s audience is expected to be even larger as the festival cements its role as one of the largest international events held in Laos, and one of the most important film events in the region.
Intimacy remains a key drawing point, however. At the 2017 festival, 23 of the 32 feature films had directors or producers on hand to speak to audiences after screenings, both in group-sessions and one-on-one.
In terms of Southeast Asian artist development, last year’s Talent Lab, led by the Tribeca Film Institute, involved training on writing grant applications and pitching projects. After an open pitch forum, “Raising a Beast”, written and directed by Lao filmmaker Xaisongkham Induangchanthy and produced by Filipina Abigail Lazaro, was selected by a jury for the TFI Network Market at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
There will also be a master-class on screenwriting and a week-long workshop on animation organised in partnership with the American Film Showcase.
All festival events are open to the public and free of charge, and visitors can go easily between the main venues on foot or via a complimentary tuktuk shuttle service.
Keep up to date at www.LPFilmFest.org and on the “lpfilmfest” Facebook page.