On 8th and 9th March, Vientianale International Film Festival will hold “Mini-Vientianale”, the first Short Film Festival in Lao PDR in the garden of the Lao Cinema Department. Entry is free. This two day festival will premiere 16 new seven- minute short films by emerging Lao filmmakers on this year’s competition theme “you + me”. The audience will be able to vote for their favourite film about love, friendship and family on the night of the screening on 9th March from 6:30 pm onwards and bear witness to the award ceremony for the three best shorts.
On the opening night of 8th March 2014, Mini-Vientianale will feature a new short film by 2011 audience prize winner Matthipob Douangmyxay, as well as show Lao shorts by well-established filmmakers Anysay Keola (Lao New Wave Cinema) and Thi-Vone Muang-Hane (Morning Song Productions). In addition, Mini-Vientianale will feature recent short films from neighbouring Southeast Asian countries as well as short films from Sweden, England, Germany and Spain, each of which takes a different approach towards the theme “you + me”. The film screenings will be complemented by Khao Niew puppet theatre performances, new dance by Lao Bang Fai as well as a music concert featuring Lao rock bands Black Magic and Metallic.
Athidxay Bouandaoheuang, director of DokLao Learning Center and one the three core members of Vientianale International Film Festival, says: “Short films are still the most important source of innovation in film. Filmmakers can explore different styles, play around with themes and develop their unique voice. We have witnessed considerable growth in the quality of our short film competition films since Vientianale was founded in 2009. We decided to offer a competition each year and organise filmmaking workshops in between to keep Lao filmmakers interested and motivated. I am especially happy that there are four women directors among this year’s competition entries.”
Organised in partnership with the Lao Cinema Department and DokLao Learning Center, the two day short film festival comes at a busy time for the Lao film scene. “Vientianale on the Road”, Vientianale’s new outreach programme, just completed its first round of mobile film screenings, showing Lao and international films in over 40 schools and villages in Xieng Khouang, Luang Namtha, Houaphan, Oudomxay and Phongsaly provinces. Together with the British Embassy, Vientianale has just held a film masterclass for Lao filmmakers with Oscar-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam.
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Source: Athidxay Boundaoheaung, Hélène Ouvrard, Margarete Magiera (Vientianale Organising Team)