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 outside the Cultural Hall in the evenings, and at the Cinema Department’s movie theatre during the daytime.
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.
Night-time screenings feature award winners such as Oscar winner ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, a trip down memory lane with Laos’ 1988 feature film ‘Bouadeng’ (Red Lotus), a new Australian horror film ‘The Babadook’, Swiss comedy “The Big Wave” about radio journalists trying to find a good story but stumbling into an uprising instead, a Palestinian love story set against the backdrop of divided Jerusalem ‘Omar’, a Japanese animation classic ‘Summer Wars’, as well as Indonesian docudrama ‘Jalanan’, the story of three street musicians trying to make it in Jakarta.
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Daytime screenings at the Cinema Department’s own movie theatre are geared towards students and families, with a focus on entertainment and education. Enjoy award winning Swiss documentary ‘More than Honey’ about the importance of bees for our own survival, Thailand’s first 3D animation film ‘Echo Planet’ about environmental challenges facing us all, a special insight into contemporary Italian animation shorts, and a best-of selection from Interfilm Berlin – Germany’s biggest short film festival – handpicked by Interfilm director Heinz Hermanns.
VIENTIANALE SHORT FILM COMPETITION
An integral and already well-established highlight of the festival programme is the screening of locally-made short films entered in the Vientianale Short Film Competition. Lao filmmakers as well as foreign filmmakers living in Laos, were tasked with creating a short film following the theme ‘Back to the Roots’.
“In a dramatically evolving region, we wanted filmmakers to reflect on what it means for them to be Lao, 40 years after the founding of Lao PDR,” says Athidxay (Ding) Bouandouheaung, director of DokLao Learning Centre and long-time Vientianale Festival team member.
“We received 22 entries and are excited to be screening them all. Our jury will award the three best films on Sunday, 15 March and the audience can also vote for their favourite film.”
This year’s competition jury is made up of up-and-coming Lao cinema talent and experienced Lao media professionals. The independent panel have the task of selecting the top three entries in the competition, and each member brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to the panel.
The judges include: prolific Lao author Dara Viravong, who penned the stage play that inspired Vientianale’s opening film ‘Bouadeng’; Vannaphone Sitthirath, an award-winning documentary maker and producer; respected lecturer and writer Bounthanh Phongphichid, who trains Lao students in writing novels, screenplays, photography and filmmaking; up and coming Lao filmmaking talent, Vilayphong (Lee) Phongsavanh, who took out the top prize of the competition two years in a row; and Simmany Keokene from the Cinema Department, Vientianale’s long-time partner.
In addition to film screenings, the festival programme will also offer a range of activities and performances for the public.
This year’s programme includes: an acting workshop sponsored by the Japan Foundation; expert industry talks by Filipino director of ‘Boses’, Indonesian producer of ‘Jalanan’, and the team behind new Lao feature ‘Vientiane in Love’; a photography and contemporary art exhibition at i:cat gallery; a theatre performance by Khao Niew Theatre; live music from local pop and rock bands; and an original dance piece from Fanglao dance company.
Vientianale International Film Festival, in partnership with the Cinema Department, 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 Australia, the United States of America, the Goethe Institute, the Indonesian Embassy, 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.
For the full festival programme please visit www.facebook.com/vientianale or www.vientianale.org
For media enquiries please contact 020 5416 3530 (English) 020 58891465 (Lao)or firstname.lastname@example.org