The Luang Prabang Film Festival operates as a non-profit cultural organization committed to the celebration of Southeast Asian film, as well as to the growth of local and regional film communities.
Southeast Asia is a magical part of the world; its cultures are many, and its plot lines are richly diverse. We want to see these stories told, and told well, and we want everyone watching.
What We Stand For
With support from like-minded organizations, we seek to inspire expression and cross-cultural communication through film. LPFF offers a venue for the best of Southeast Asia’s most distinct and unique voices.
LPFF is an exciting forum for international exchange, where filmmakers share ideas, trends, and techniques. All great films start with great ideas. LPFF cultivates discussion around those ideas through various panels and activities.
We aim to create jobs and income for filmmakers by building connections and supporting a sustainable regional film industry. Additionally, our organisation focuses closely on capacity building specifically for Lao filmmakers.
We believe strongly in equal representation of all perspectives. We pride ourselves on showcasing content that reflects a variety of ethnic, national, gender, sexual, and political identities.
The Main Event
The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) brings together the boldest storytellers and the most talked-about films in Southeast Asia. Our curators handpick these films from ten ASEAN-member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), and LPFF showcases them in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, Laos.
This inspiring environment provides an ideal backdrop for artists and industry professionals to share their experiences and talents. LPFF is a festival for the adventurous, and is quickly becoming known as one of the most alluring and exciting locations on the international film festival circuit.
At the start of every December, the former royal capital of Laos is transformed into a theater. Screens are rigged on garden lawns, within the walls of five-star hotels, at a central market. The whole town becomes the perfect setting for celebrating the art of cinema.
As LPFF believes in equal access, all of our screenings are free and open to the public. At our main outdoor venue, we set up 800 blue chairs, but regularly welcome eager audiences of over 1,500 people per screening.
Structure, Staff, and Governance
In order to conduct business in Laos, the Luang Prabang Film Festival organization is managed on a not-for-profit basis by FRANK Sole Co., Ltd., an events management firm registered in Laos and held in turn by LPFF, Ltd., registered in Hong Kong. Both LPFF, Ltd. and FRANK are fully committed to transparency in governance and finance; to international-standard, fund-based accounting; and to redirecting income in excess of expense to the ongoing mission and vision above.
Sean Chadwell, Executive Director
A native of West Virginia, Sean has lived and worked in the United States, India, China, and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. As a university faculty member in the US and China, he has taught literature, writing, and film studies courses and published research on the concept of authenticity in popular culture–and specifically in food, film, and music–in the West.
As a longtime board member for Hecho en Encinal, an arts organization dedicated to providing access to creating and engaging with the arts in rural South Texas, Chadwell developed Media del Monte, a program that brought professional filmmakers to work with youth participants for multi-week summer workshops on visual storytelling.
Chadwell lived in Luang Prabang from 2014 to 2016, serving LPFF as a volunteer during those years. He rejoined the organization as its executive director in 2019, happily re-relocating to Laos.
Bree Fitzgerald, Director of Programming
Bree Fitzgerald comes from a family of filmmakers and festival alumni. At age 8 she got her first job working selling posters in Yorkville for a film festival then known as the Toronto Festival of Festivals. Growing up around programmers she developed deep industry knowledge and, perhaps because of this, a strong desire to see new independent voices amplified.
A particular interest in non-fiction narratives, often overlooked in the mainstream, led her initially to a career in documentary film and television. This became 25 years of experience working as an award-winning producer and camerawoman for broadcast on National Geographic, Discovery and A&E networks.
More information below about Fitzgerald, who also serves on LPFF’s Board of Directors.
Gabriel Kuperman, Festival Founder and Director of Artist Development
Born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Alex Curran-Cardarelli moved to Ohio to study creative writing and art history at Denison University. During her time there, she cultivated her skills and appreciation for storytelling through various mediums, such as writing, photography, and museum curation.
Through a Princeton in Asia fellowship, Curran-Cardarelli moved to Lao PDR to start her professional career at LPFF as a festival coordinator. After completing her two year commitment, she continues to pursue her newfound love for cinema and Southeast Asian culture as LPFF’s Festival Manager.