About the Luang Prabang Film Festival

Our Vision

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

Cultural Expression

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.

Mutual Exchange

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.

Sustainable Industry

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.

Diversity

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.

AAAA9491

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.

The Team

AlexCurranCardarelliFM_01

Alex Curran-Cardarelli,
Festival Manager

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.

SeanChadwellED

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.

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.

VoneLiosakounOA

Vone Liosakoun,
Office Administrator

Vone joined the LPFF team in early September 2020, and she handles day-to-day operations and generally keeps everything from falling apart.

Born and raised in Luang Prabang, Vone was most recently the manager for KOPNOI Export Promotion Center.

Gabriel-Kuperman-LPFF-Director-of-Artist-Development

Gabriel Kuperman,
Festival Founder and Director of Artist Development

Hailing from Washington, DC, Gabriel Kuperman received a master’s degree in Media Studies from the New School in New York City. There, he developed his professional foundation in both production and programming for television, film, and radio, working for companies such as MTV Networks and Clear Channel.

After moving to Laos in 2008, Kuperman founded the Luang Prabang Film Festival a year later. After ten years at its helm, he shifted focus in 2019 to managing the project’s artist development programs, such as workshops, educational activities, and talent labs.

Kuperman and his work have been profiled in media outlets across the world, including Time Magazine, Vogue, the Hollywood Reporter, the Nation, and the Bangkok Post.

BreeFitzgeraldDP

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.

The Board of Directors

Nicholas Simon

An American/Hungarian citizen living in Bangkok, Nicholas Simon founded the international film and television production company Indochina Productions in 2010. His vast Asian filmmaking experience dates back to the early 90’s, when he began producing through Vietnam’s first international media joint venture. The only company in South East Asia able to produce and service big budget Hollywood studio films and Fortune 500 advertising commercial needs in over 14 countries, Indochina operates in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Japan, The Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, The Maldives, Singapore, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.

Simon pioneered bringing big budget filmmaking to Vietnam with Warner Brothers/Legendary Films’ KONG:SKULL ISLAND starring Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddelston and Brie Larson and Netflix’s DHAKA starring Chris Hemsworth to Bangladesh. Indochina’s recent productions include Spike Lee’s DA 5 BLOODS starring Chadwick Boseman (BLACK PANTHER), and Michael Mann’s (MIAMI VICE, HEAT) adaption of Mark Bowden ’s (BLACK HAWK DOWN) wrenching story of the Tet Offensive HUE 68 for Disney’s FX channel. Indochina’s TV commercial resume includes award winning spots for Apple, Budweiser, Toyota, and Samsung, among others.

Bree Fitzgerald

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.

Though based for many years in New York, Fitzgerald has spent most of her career working in Southeast Asia, drawn by the innovative nature and diversity of independent voices found there. In 2014 she became the Chair of the Board of LPFF with a mandate to develop the festival as a vital regional resource for filmmakers. In 2016, she was appointed to the role of Director of Programming, bringing her experience in storytelling to LPFF’s annual program as well as a lifelong mission to expand access to peripheral narratives, and to support and champion emerging voices.


Liz Tynes Netto

Liz Tynes Netto has worked as a producer and a videographer for various documentary series on The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and HBO among others. She recently completed her MFA at Antioch University, Los Angeles and is currently writing a novel and a screenplay. Her short stories and poems, some of which are based on her time living in South East Asia, have been published in a variety of journals. She lives in Los Angeles with her daughter and a very cute dog named Dusty.