In Wravong Phrachanh‘s 49 Hours Left, Thananxay dies and discovers the afterlife is not at all what he expects — and that he has a limited window of time to return to his former life to learn what he needs to do in order to move on. Waravong, who is making this animated short film with the Anatomoir team, has won acclaim for other projects from the Vientianale, Lane Xang Shorts, Digicon 6, and the Lao Short Film Awards.
In Vongphasith Chanphakeo‘s The Lottery, a group of young friends in Luang Prabang devises a way to garner enough lottery winnings to settle debts and keep a family together. The film is a directorial debut for Vongphasith, who starred in “A long Way Home” by Xaysongkham Inchanthy, and, more recently, Sonepaseuth Phanpila’s 2020 LFF-supported film, Absence of Sound.
Thavisub Khamphoumee‘s “Pencil Box” reveals the absurdity of a peculiar high-school competition. A founder of Invoker Productions in Vientiane, Thavisub has won various awards for his short films; most recently, “Three Wishes” took the prize for best cinematography at the Lao Short Film Awards 2021.
In Soukthavone Thanomenon‘s “The Story of Naa,” a young girl finds herself at the center of a social media firestorm after her actions are misunderstood; in the weeks to follow, she comes to question the impact of charitable giving and the lingering inequity around her. The founder of OK Good Film Maker, Soukthavone started his career as a photographer and has produced and directed several short films and commercial projects.
Lathsamee Thammavong’s story of virtual relationships in the pandemic era, “The Cyber Love” follows Pani as she discovers the dark side of a social media romance and attempts to escape its consequences. Lathsamee is a student at the National University of Laos and recently won an award for Best Editing for “Calls from the Future” at the Lao Short Film Awards 2021.
Khonesavanh Boulom’s The Luminous tells the story of a foreigner who moves to a small Lao village on behalf of the mining company he works for; there, he discovers love, a passion for traditional Lao boxing, and the unwelcome truth about his employers. Khonsavanh, who also wrote the script for The Luminous, is a photographer and cinematographer who has worked with Lao New Wave Cinema, GPSLAO, Unilever Lao, and Comfort Products in cooperation with Miss Universe Lao 2020.
Khamla Lao‘s “Souvenir from Luang Prabang” explores the impact of tourism — and its prolonged absence during the pandemic — on a traditional foodway, khaipaen, of Northern Laos. Khamla is currently studying mass communication at Souphanouvong University and has undergone training in film and photography at My Library in Luang Prabang, where he currently also teaches photography.
Out of Breath, a project of Ken Pitsapheng and Athidxay (Ding) Bouandaoheuang, is based on a true story, portraying the ‘new normal’ in Luang Prabang, where Sone’s everyday struggles to succeed in the World Heritage city are turned upside down by the pandemic. A longtime volunteer for LPFF, Ken produced “This is the Railroad, Mechanism of Life,” for the anthology Stories from the Train (2020). A co-founder of Lao New Wave Studios, Ding’s latest is the short film “The Trait,” to be released at the end of 2021.
“Ghost Stories” is a three-part comedy series produced and directed by Ka Xiong and Simon Cote of Malao Studios. It chronicles Lao friends traveling to the countryside in a colorful tuk-tuk in hopes of finding the ghosts from the Lao folk stories they’ve heard since they were children. An award-winning photographer and cinematographer, Ka received LFF support in 2016 for “Melody of Change.”
A Khmu-language story by Dorn Bouttasing, “A Boat in the Road” follows Ked, who senses ominous occurrences in her region, as she travels barefoot through local villages in search of the root of the unexpected changes. Dorn received LFF support in 2016 for Let’s Love, which was selected in 2020 for streaming on INDIEflix, a platform dedicated to films about social issues.
“The Mine,” a documentary short by Chansamai Phanouvong, will present traditional Katu weaving with raw materials from nature, alongside the folkways and traditional knowledge that sustains lives in harmony with the environment. Chansamai’s most recent project was “BoTen – BoPiad,” produced for the anthology Stories from the Train (2020).