The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) has announced the lineup for its eighth annual event, which will run 8-13 December 2017.
Official selections are made by experts and critics from across Southeast Asia referred to as “Motion Picture Ambassadors,” and represent a carefully chosen collection of what they believe to be the finest contemporary films from their respective countries. By identifying great curators with inside understanding of their community’s film scene, LPFF is able to produce a unique program that ensures the inclusion of the strongest voices from across Southeast Asia.
Not only is LPFF a celebration of the best of Southeast Asian cinema, but it has grown into a well-known and important forum for regional film professionals to network internationally and to exchange diverse ideas and experiences.
The feature films in the 2017 festival program are:
|2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten (Philippines)
The Anniversary (Laos)
Bad Genius (Thailand)
Blood Road (Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia)
Burma Storybook (Myanmar)
By the Time it Gets Dark (Thailand)
Cemetery of Splendour (Thailand)
The Couple (Thailand)
Die Beautiful (Philippines)
Father and Son (Vietnam)
Heart Attack (Thailand)
In Exile (Myanmar)
In My Hometown (Thailand)
The Island Funeral (Thailand)
Legend of the Broken Sword (Thailand)
Mind Cage (Cambodia)
Ordinary People (Philippines)
Railway Sleepers (Thailand)
Rina 2 (Brunei and Laos)
Saving Sally (Philippines)
Unlucky Plaza (Singapore)
Women of the Weeping River (Philippines)
You Mean the World to Me (Malaysia)
In addition to the lineup of feature film screenings, LPFF will also have four programs of short films, including a selection from Vientianale 2017 and Viddsee’s 2017 Shortee winners.
Audiences will also be able to attend four public discussions this year, including “Protecting Films in the Age of the Internet,” “Muslim Voices of Southeast Asia,” “Financing Your Non-Fiction Film,” and a discussion on Thai cinema for the festival’s SPOTLIGHT program. Now in its third year, the SPOTLIGHT program, will this year turn to Thailand, with a full day of programming devoted to screenings and discussion of Thai feature films. Kong Rithdee, LPFF’s Motion Picture Ambassador for Thailand, will act as the program’s host, leading post-screening Q&As and a public discussion. In addition to being a filmmaker himself, Rithdee is a film critic for the Bangkok Post. Among the films screening for the SPOTLIGHT is the 1954 classic Santi-Vina, which was recently restored for a screening at Cannes Classics in 2016.
Also on offer this year is the second LPFF Talent Lab for Southeast Asian filmmakers, led by the Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI). In keeping with last year’s program, TFI representatives will lead a workshop for ten filmmakers on grant writing and project pitching. After sessions of instruction, practice, and a pitch forum with feedback given by various industry professionals, one project showing great promise will be selected by TFI to attend the TFI Network market, which will take place in New York City at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival®. There, TFI will arrange meetings for the filmmaker with editors, distributors, and financiers. TFI will then mentor him/her through the completion of the project. All participants in the Talent Lab will also receive preferential consideration for any of TFI’s grants. Aurora Media Holdings has also formally joined the Talent Lab this year, offering the Aurora Producing Award of $10,000 USD to be used as starting funds for one selected project.
A new addition to the festival’s program this year will be a documentary production workshop organized by the US Mission to ASEAN and the American Film Showcase. Renowned Filipino-American filmmaker Ramona Diaz (Imelda, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey) will conduct a five-day workshop with 12 participants from the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative. By the end of the workshop, four short documentaries will have been shot and edited in small groups. Diaz will also be on hand for a Q&A with audiences at the screening of her most recent film, Motherland.
Every year, the official film selections have directors, producers, or actors in attendance who participate in numerous festival events, including post-screening Q&As at the LPFF Day Venue located at Sofitel Luang Prabang. The final list of this year’s attendees will be announced in the coming weeks.
Visitors can also enjoy a photography exhibition from Philip Jablon, who, in 2008, began his Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project, creating the single most comprehensive collection of the region’s theaters ever compiled. The photos on display at this year’s Luang Prabang Film Festival will represent a few of the theaters captured during Philip’s month-long tour of Mon State, Myanmar, undertaken in February and March of this year.
All screenings and activities of the festival are free and open to the public.