Vientianale International Film Festival returns to the silver screen from March 12 to 15 2015. The festival will showcase an exciting line-up of Lao and international feature-length and short films to the Vientiane community under the stars at the Cultural Hall outdoor event space in the evenings. Daytime screenings will be held at the Cinema Department, Vientianale’s long-term partner.
The annual film festival celebrates the art of film and the diversity of Lao culture, and has emerged as an important platform for local filmmakers to screen their works. This year’s festival will showcase recent films from Laos and neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, as well as films from Europe, USA, Australia, Korea, and Japan. All Vientianale film screenings and related activities are free and open to the public.
VIENTIANALE SHORT FILM COMPETITION STILL OPEN FOR ENTRIES
An integral and already well-established highlight of the festival programme is the screening of locally-made short films in the Vientianale Short Film Competition. Lao filmmakers as well as foreign filmmakers living in Laos, of all skill levels were asked to make a short film following the theme “Back to the Roots”. “In a dramatically evolving region, we want filmmakers to reflect on what it means for them to be Lao, 40 years after the founding of Lao PDR,” says Athidxay (Ding) Bouandouheaung, Vientiane-based documentary film maker, director of DokLao Learning Centre and longtime Vientianale Festival team member.
All new short films will be screened as part of the Vientianale Festival programme on March 15, and a jury made up of professional Lao filmmakers and media experts will select and award the three best entries with cash prizes.
Vilayphong (Lee) Phongsavanh, professional HipHop dancer and director of HOPPIN company, won the Vientianale Short Film Competition twice in a row, in 2013 and 2014. He is excited to be a member of the jury this year and says „I don’t really know what kind of person I would be today if I hadn’t won the Vientianale Short Film Competition with my film „Teddy Jay” in 2013. I felt so encouraged to pursue my dream of making films. I consequently met so many great people at Lao New Wave Cinema and got so inspired by them. I would like to encourage all Lao people to make their film about “Back to the roots”. It’s the idea that counts, not the expensive camera.“
In addition to film screenings, the festival programme will also offer filmmaking workshops for Lao filmmakers and talks led by experts in local and Southeast Asian cinema, a photography and painting exhibition at i:cat gallery building on the short film competition theme “Back to the Roots”, and include a theatre performance by Khao Niew Theatre group, a music concert featuring local rock stars, and a contemporary dance performance by Fang Lao.
Vientianale International Film Festival is generously supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Beer Lao, the Embassy of Luxembourg, the German Embassy, the Japan Foundation, BFL bank, the Embassies of Indonesia, the United States of America, and Australia, the Goethe Institute, the German Development Bank (KFW), the Embassies of the Philippines, Switzerland, and Japan, the German Adult Education Association (DVV), the French Cultural Institute and the British Council. Vientianale also cooperates with The National Geographic Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs in producing Vientianale’s official festival map as well as other activities around mapping and surveying during the film festival.
VIENTIANALE ON THE ROAD
Vientianale’s mobile screening programme ‘Vientianale on the Road’ has just wrapped a successful regional tour through Saravane, Sekong and Attapeu provinces at the end of 2014. The programme brought the best of the festival’s feature and short films to schools and villages across the provinces, with over 8300 people attending the screenings. Several three-day filmmaking workshops led by members of the DokLao Learning Centre were held in the provincial capitals to encourage more people to appreciate and make films.
Vientianale on the Road, in close cooperation with the Lao Cinema Department and DokLao Learning Centre, has visited eight Lao provinces over the last year, five northern provinces and three southern provinces. It was generously funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Embassies of the United States of America and Great Britain, and BFL bank.
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