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From 2008 to 2020, the long-dormant domestic film industry in Laos began to see something of a renaissance, with a few Lao-language feature films produced by Lao directors released each year by 2019. To put this in context, in the 34-year span between 1975 and 2008 — the year Sabaidee Luang Prabang was released — no commercial movies were produced in the country. Thai-language film and television was accessible, of course, and continues today to dominate media consumption throughout Laos; the ethnically diverse Lao people, however, have their own stories to tell, in a variety of languages and cultural traditions, and the gradual cultivation of domestic cinema has begun to share these stories inside and outside the country. Imagine the magic and the thrill of hearing your own language on screen for the first time.

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  • When Anysay Keola was growing up in Laos, there were no movie theaters and people could only watch films on TV. Even now, there are only four cinemas in the whole country – three of them in Vientiane, and one in Pakse: none in Luang Prabang. This context helps us understand why the Luang Prabang Film Festival is so important to so many filmmakers – and audience members. Keola describes the 40 or 50 years up to the 2000s as “the dead period” in Lao filmmaking; a time between the “the golden era of cinema” (in terms of cinema business he’s quick to clarify, not filmmaking) and the opening of the first Lao cinema around 2005. Culturally, the country had started to open from the 1990s, with children like Keola mainly exposed to Thai films, especially Thai horror films, because they could understand the language and the reference points were similar.

    In 2008, a Thai/ Lao co-production Sabaidee Luang Prabang was released; “this was like a sparkle for us.” Keola was overseas studying in Australia at the time, but he was “so excited” to see Lao voices in cinema – “I still remember that feeling.” Around the same time, his IT university course required him to complete a special effects assignment and show it to his friends, sparking a love for creating and sharing cinema.

    Now, despite challenges such as the limited size of the market and restricted funding options, Keola has made a name for himself as one of Laos’ most accomplished directors. In his words, his films deal with the “life struggles” of ordinary people, often illustrated through science-fiction or magical elements. Growing up, the line between spiritualism and animism was “so blurred”, he says and “the culture may have subconsciously something to do with” these themes often coming up in Southeast Asian films. He explains that the Luang Prabang Film Festival generates a chance, or opportunity, for otherwise unfunded and unheard filmmakers to secure support for their work, to receive technical training, and to have their work be seen and appreciated; “without the Luang Prabang Film Festival, HBO Asia would have never picked up my first film,” he adds “that’s how important it is to me personally.”

    ອານິໄຊ ແກ້ວລາ

    ​ອານິໄຊ ແກ້ວລາ ເຕີບໃຫຍ່ຢູ່ໃນປະເທດລາວ, ຊຶ່ງເວລານັ້ນບໍ່ມີໂຮງຮູບເງົາເລີຍ​ ແລະ ປະຊາຊົນ​ພຽງແຕ່ເບິ່ງຮູບເງົາ​ໃນໂທລະທັດ​ເທົ່ານັ້ນ. ຈົນເຖິງປະຈຸບັນນີ້, ໃນທົ່ວປະເທດມີໂຮງຮູບເງົາ​ພຽງແຕ່ 4 ແຫ່ງເທົ່ານັ້ນ, ໃນນັ້ນ, ຢູ່ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ 3 ແຫ່ງ ແລະ ຢູ່ປາກເຊ 1 ແຫ່ງ: ບໍ່ມີໂຮງຮູບເງົາຢູ່ຫຼວງພະບາງເລີຍ. ສະພາບການນີ້ຊ່ວຍໃຫ້ພວກເຮົາເຂົ້າໃຈວ່າເປັນຫຍັງງານມະຫະກຳຮູບເງົາຫຼວງພະບາງ​ຈຶ່ງມີຄວາມສຳຄັນຫຼາຍຕໍ່ຜູ້ສ້າງຮູບເງົາ ແລະ ສະມາຊິກຜູ້ຊົມ. ອານິໄຊ ແກ້ວລາ​ອະທິບາຍເຖິງ​ 40 ຫຼື 50 ປີເຖິງຊຸມປີ 2000​ ວ່າ “ຊ່ວງເວລາແຫ່ງຄວາມ​ຕາຍ” ຂອງ​ການຜະລິດຮູບເງົາຂອງລາວ; ຊ່ວງເວລາລະຫວ່າງ “ຍຸກທອງຂອງຮູບເງົາ​” (ອານິໄຊຮີບຊີ້ແຈງວ່າ: ໃນດ້ານ​ທຸລະກິດຮູບເງົາ​ຂອງລາວ​ນັ້ນ​ບໍ່ແມ່ນການສ້າງຮູບເງົາ​) ແລະ ການເປີດຮູບເງົາ​ລາວແຫ່ງທຳອິດ​ປະ ມານປີ 2005. ໃນ​ດ້ານວັດທະນະທຳ, ປະເທດໄດ້ເລີ່ມເປີດຕັ້ງແຕ່ຊຸມປີ 1990 ເປັນຕົ້ນມາ, ໂດຍມີເດັກນ້ອຍທັງຫຼາຍ ຄືກັບເດັກຊາຍອານິໄຊ​ຊຶ່ງສ່ວນໃຫຍ່ໄດ້ສໍາຜັດກັບຮູບເງົາໄທ, ໂດຍສະເພາະຮູບເງົາສະຫຍອງຂັວນຂອງ​ໄທ, ເພາະວ່າພວກເຂົາສາມາດເຂົ້າໃຈພາສາ ແລະ ຈຸດອ້າງອີງທີ່ຄ້າຍຄືກັນ.

    ໃນປີ 2008, ບໍລິສັດຮ່ວມຜະລິດຮູບເງົາຂອງໄທ-ລາວໄດ້ສ້າງຮູບເງົາ “ສະບາຍດີ ຫຼວງພະບາງ “ ແລະ ໄດ້ອອກສູ່ສາຍຕາ​ຜູ້ຊົມ​; “ອັນນີ້ເໝືອນກັບການຈຸດປະກາຍໄຟ​ສໍາລັບພວກເຮົາ.” ໃນເວລານັ້ນ, ອານິໄຊ ພວມ​ສຶກສາຢູ່​ປະເທດອົດສະຕຣາລີ, ແຕ່ລາວ “ຕື່ນເຕັ້ນທີ່ສຸດ​” ທີ່ໄດ້ຍິນ​ສຽງ​ພາສາລາວໃນຮູບເງົາ – “ຂ້ອຍ​​ຍັງຈື່ຄວາມຮູ້ສຶກນັ້ນຢູ່.” ໃນເວລາດຽວກັນນັ້ນ, ຫຼັກສູດມະຫາວິທະຍາໄລ IT ຂອງລາວຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ລາວເຮັດສໍາເລັດບົດທີ່ໄດ້​ມອບໝາຍ​ໃຫ້ກ່ຽວກັບເອເຟັກ​ພິເສດ ແລະ ໄດ້ສະແດງຕໍ່​ໝູ່​ເພື່ອນຂອງລາວ, ຊຶ່ງເປັການຈຸດປະກາຍ​ຄວາມຮັກໃນການສ້າງ ແລະ ແບ່ງປັນຮູບເງົາ.

    ໃນປັດຈຸບັນນີ້, ເຖິງວ່າຈະມີສິ່ງທ້າທາຍຕ່າງໆ ເຊັ່ນ: ຂະໜາດ​ທີ່ຈໍາກັດຂອງຕະຫຼາດ ແລະ ທາງເລືອກດ້ານເງິນ​ທຶນ​ທີ່ຈໍາກັດ, ອານິໄຊກໍໄດ້ສ້າງຊື່ສຽງຂອງ​ຕົນເອງໃນຖານະເປັນ​ຜູ້ອໍານວຍການທີ່ປະສົບຜົນສໍາເລັດຫຼາຍທີ່ສຸດຂອງລາວ. ໃນຄໍາເວົ້າ​ຂອງລາວ, ຮູບເງົາຂອງລາວແມ່ນກ່ຽວກັບ​ “ການຕໍ່ສູ້ດີ້ນຮົນໃນຊີ ວິດ” ຂອງຄົນ​ສາມັນທົ່ວໄປ, ຊຶ່ງມັກຈະສະແດງໃຫ້ເຫັນ​ຜ່ານນິຍາຍວິທະຍາສາດ​ ຫຼື ອົງປະກອບທີ່ມີມົນວິເສດ​. ລາວເວົ້າວ່າ: “ເມື່ອເຕີບໃຫຍ່ຂຶ້ນ, ເສັ້ນແບ່ງລະຫວ່າງລັດທິເຊື່ອຈິດ​ວິນຍານ ແລະ ລັດທິເຊື່ອຜີ​ແມ່ນ “ຂຸ່ນມົວຫຼາຍ”, ແລະ ຈິດໃຕ້ສໍານຶກ​​ຂອງວັດທະນະທໍາ ອາດຈະມີບາງ​​ຢ່າງທີ່ກ່ຽວຂ້ອງກັບຄໍາວ່າ: ” ຫົວຂໍ້ເຫຼົ່ານີ້ມັກຈະເກີດຂື້ນໃນຮູບເງົາອາຊີຕາເວັນອອກສຽງໃຕ້. ລາວ​ອະທິບາຍວ່າ: ງານມະຫະກຳຮູບເງົາຫຼວງພະບາງ​​​​ເປັນ​ໂຊກ​ ຫຼື ເປັນໂອກາດໃຫ້ແກ່ຜູ້ສ້າງຮູບເງົາທີ່ບໍ່ມີທຶນຮອນ ແລະ ບໍ່ເຄີຍມີ​ຊື່ສຽງມາກ່ອນ​ ເພື່ອຮັບປະກັນການສະໜັບສະໜູນຕໍ່ວຽກງານຂອງພວກເຂົາ​ໃຫ້ໄດ້ຮັບການຝຶກອົບຮົມທາງດ້ານວິຊາການ​, ແລະ ໄດ້ສະແດງຜົນງານຂອງພວກເຂົາ​ ແລະ ໄດ້ຮັບຄວາມຊື່ນຊົມຍິນດີ; ລາວກ່າວຕື່ມວ່າ: “ຖ້າບໍ່ມີງານມະຫາກໍາ​ຮູບເງົາຫຼວງພະບາງ​​, HBO ອາຊີ​ກໍຈະບໍ່ເລືອກເອົາຮູບເງົາເລື່ອງທໍາອິດຂອງຂ້ອຍ​​,” ລາວເວົ້າຕື່ມວ່າ: “ສ່ວນຕົວແລ້ວ, ມັນເປັນສິ່ງສໍາຄັນສໍາລັບຂ້ອຍ​​.”

    ເບິ່ງຕົວຢ່າງຜົນງານທີ່ຜ່ານມາ / Watch Trailers for His Films
  • “I got into film-making by an accident.”

    Xaisongkham Induangchanthy liked reading a lot when he was young and dreamed of becoming a journalist. Instead, through a series of events — including winning a scholarship to study mass communications in Singapore — he started watching and learning about films. At that time, there wasn’t much of a Lao film industry to speak of, so Induangchanthy dreamed of making films from and about his homeland, “hoping that one day I too could make Lao films and screen them overseas.”

    Before then, in his small hometown of Seno, Savannakhet, his experience of cinema was limited: “there was a stand-alone cinema called Seno Rama. Sometimes, my oldest brother would carry me on his shoulders to go and watch a movie there. I have fading memories about what we were watching then.” The cinema only showed Indian movies. When he got older and moved to Savannakhet city and Vientiane, there were still few chances to watch films in cinemas, and it wasn’t until he lived in Singapore and then Australia that he gained extensive experience of cinemas. In both countries, he favored local films, such as 4:30 by Royston Tan (Singapore, 2005), and Samson and Delilah by Warwick Thornton (Australia, 2009). Now, the directors who inspire him most include Jia Zhangke, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and Zang Yi-Mou. Like Induangchanthy, many of these directors deal with themes of family and relationships, and ordinary people with extraordinary tales.

    I like to explore relationships between family members. I grew up in a big family in a small village far from a big city. But since I lost both my parents and had to move to a big city and then overseas to study, work, and live, I’ve been on my own. My yearning to be reunited with my family is instilled in me; it’s always there. An image of family members sitting and having dinner together can easily move me to tears.

    His films also explore the trend of people moving from rural areas to cities, and the tension between traditional ways of life and modern pressures. “People are longing to return home to re-live a simple life for a moment,” he says, “but they can’t afford to live a slow life for long; they are forced by their circumstances and responsibilities or used to living in a big city where many opportunities are.” Induangchanthy sees the theme of the clash between traditional ways of life and modernity as relevant to many communities around the world.

    As a filmmaker, Induangchanthy won the top prize at the Luang Prabang Film Festival’s Talent Lab in 2017, presented by LPFF and the Tribeca Film Institute; and was also a Lao Filmmaker Fund Grantee in 2013, 2014 and 2018. All films made by Lao New Wave Cinema Productions (the company he co-founded) have been selected and shown at the LPFF in the past. Of LPFF,  Induangchanthy says: “it has brought us publicity, connections, and many opportunities,” noting also that funding is a huge challenge for Lao filmmakers and that the Lao Filmmakers Fund is currently the only such funding available in the country.

    In recent years, Induangchanthy started LanXang Shorts – a short film festival that focuses on a short film competition. “I was surprised by the diverse and daring films that aspiring filmmakers made and submitted,” he says. “It’s very promising for the future of Lao cinema. Many young people are interested in filmmaking.” His own dream would be to have the time and funds available to produce a feature-length documentary, allowing years to follow certain characters and stories: “I believe, in Laos there are a lot of stories that are worth capturing and sharing with the world.”

    ໄຊສົງຄາມ​ ອິນດວງຈັນທີ
    “ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ເຂົ້າສູ່​​ການສ້າງຮູບເງົາໂດຍບັງເອີນ​.”

    ຕອນຍັງນ້ອຍ, ໄຊສົງຄາມ​ ດວງຈັນທີ ມັກອ່ານຫຼາຍ ແລະ ໄຝ່ຝັນຢາກເປັນນັກຂ່າວ. ​ໂດຍຜ່ານຫຼາກຫຼາຍງານ,​ ລວມທັງການໄດ້ຮັບທຶນການສຶກສາດ້ານ​ການສື່ສານມວນຊົນ​ໃນປະເ​ທດສິງກະໂປ,​ລາວ​ເລີ່ມຕົ້ນເບິ່ງຮູບເງົາ ແລະ ຮຽນຮູ້ກ່ຽວກັບຮູບເງົາ. ໃນເວລານັ້ນ, ຍັງບໍ່ມີການເວົ້າເຖິງອຸດສະຫະກໍາ​ຮູບເງົາຂອງປະເທດລາວຫຼາຍປານໃດ, ໄຊສົງຄາມຈຶ່ງໄຝ່ຝັນຢາກສ້າງຮູບເງົາຈາກບ້ານເກີດເມືອງນອນຂອງຕົນ​, ລາວເວົ້າວ່າ: “ຫວັງວ່າມື້ໜຶ່ງ​ຂ້ອຍຈະສາມາດສ້າງຮູບເງົາ​ຂອງລາວຄືກັນ ແລະ ໄດ້ສາຍຢູ່ຕ່າງປະເທດ​”.

    ກ່ອນໜ້ານັ້ນ​, ຢູ່ບ້ານນ້ອຍແຫ່ງໜຶ່ງ​ທີ່ເປັນບ້ານເກີດຂອງໄຊສົງຄາມ​ທີ່ເມືອງເຊໂນ, ແຂວງສະຫວັນນະເຂດ, ປະສົບການດ້ານ​ຮູບເງົາຂອງລາວມີຢ່າງຈຳກັດ. ລາວເວົ້າວ່າ:​ “ມີໂຮງຮູບເງົາ​ທີ່ຕັ້ງຢ່າງໂດດ​ດ່ຽວ ທີ່ມີຊື່ວ່າ: ​​ເຊໂນຣາມາ. ບາງຄັ້ງ, ອ້າຍໃຫຍ່ຂອງຂ້ອຍໃຫ້​ຂ້ອຍນັ່ງ​ເທິງບ່າຂອງລາວເພື່ອໄປເບິ່ງຮູບເງົາ​ຢູ່ທີ່ນັ້ນ. ຂ້ອຍມີຄວາມຊົງຈໍາທີ່ເລືອນລາງ​ກ່ຽວກັບຮູບເງົາ​ທີ່ພວກເຮົາໄດ້ເບິ່ງໃນເວລານັ້ນ.” ໂຮງ​ຮູບເງົາ​ສາຍແຕ່​ຮູບເງົາ​ອິນເດຍເທົ່ານັ້ນ. ເມື່ອໄຊສົງຄາມໃຫ່ຍ ຂືຶ້ນ, ​ລາວຍ້າຍໄປຢູ່ເມືອງ​ສະຫວັນນະເຂດ ແລະ ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ, ແຕ່ກໍມີໂອກາດໄດ້ເບິ່ງ​​​ຮູບເງົາ​ໃນ​ໂຮງ​ຮູບເງົາ​ໜ້ອຍທີ່ສຸດ​ ແລະ ຈົນເຖິງ​ເວລາລາວໄປ​ຢູ່ປະ ເທດສິງກະໂປ ແລະ ປະເທດອົດສະຕຣາລີ ຈຶ່ງໄດ້ຮັບປະສົບການຢ່າງ​ກ້ວາງຂວາງກ່ຽວກັບໂຮງ​​​ຮູບເງົາ​. ໃນທັງສອງປະເທດ, ລາວມັກຮູບເງົາທ້ອງ ຖິ່ນ, ເຊັ່ນ: “4:30“ ໂດຍໂຣສ໌ສະໂຕນ ຕັນ​ (ສິງກະໂປ, 2005), ແລະ “ແຊມຊັ​ນ ແລະ ດາລີລາ “ ໂດຍ ວາຣ໌ວິກ ທອນໂຕນ​ (ອົດສະຕາລີ, 2009). ໃນປັດຈຸບັນ, ຜູ້ອໍານວຍການທີ່ສ້າງແຮງບັນດານໃຈໃຫ້ລາວຫຼາຍທີ່ສຸດປະກອບມີ: ຢີອາ ຊາງເກ, ຮິໂຣກາຊູ ກາໂຣ-ເອດາ​, ແລະ ຊາງ ຢີ-ມູ​. ເຊັ່ນດຽວກັນກັບໄຊສົງຄາມ​​​, ຜູ້ອໍານວຍການ​ຫຼາຍຄົນເຫຼົ່ານີ້ມັກສ້າງຮູບເງົາກ່ຽວ​ກັບ​ຄອບຄົວ ແລະ ຄວາມສໍາພັນ, ແລະ ຄົນທໍາມະດາທີ່ມີນິທານພິເສດ.

    ຂ້ອຍມັກຄົ້ນ​ຫາ​ຄວາມສຳພັນລະຫວ່າງສະມາຊິກໃນຄອບຄົວ. ຂ້ອຍ​​ເຕີບໂຫ່ຍ​​ໃນ​ຄອບ​ຄົວ​ໃຫຍ່​​ໃນ​ບ້ານ​ນ້ອຍ​ຢູ່​ຫ່າງ​ໄກ​ຈາກ​ຕົວ​ເມືອງ​ໃຫຍ່. ແຕ່ວ່ານັບຕັ້ງແຕ່ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ສູນເສຍທັງພໍ່ ແລະ ແມ່​ ແລະ ຕ້ອງຍ້າຍໄປຢູ່ໃນຕົວເມືອງໃຫຍ່ ແລະ ຫຼັງຈາກນັ້ນ ກໍໄປສຶກສາຮໍ່າຮຽນ​​​, ເຮັດວຽກ, ແລະ ດໍາລົງຊີວິດຢູ່ຕ່າງປະເທດ​, ຂ້ອຍຈິ່ງໄດ້​ຢູ່ຄົນດຽວ​. ຄວາມປາຖະໜາທີ່ຢາກກັບໄປ​ເຕົ້າໂຮມກັບຄອບຄົວຂອງຂ້ອຍຍັງ​ປູກຝັງ​ໃນຄວາມຄິດຂອງຂ້ອຍຢູ່ສະເໝີ. ຮູບ​ພາບ​ຂອງ​ສະ​ມາ​ຊິກ​​ຄອບ​ຄົວ​ນັ່ງ​ກິນ​ອາ​ຫານ​ຮ່ວມ​ກັນ​​ເຮັດ​ໃຫ້ຂ້ອຍ​​ນ້ຳ​ຕາໄຫຼອອກມາ​ໄດ້​ງ່າຍທີ່ສຸດ.

    ຮູບເງົາຂອງລາວຍັງ​ຄົ້ນຫາທ່າອ່ຽງ​ຂອງຄົນທີ່ຍ້າຍຈາກຊົນນະບົດໄປສູ່ຕົວເມືອງ, ແລະ ຄວາມເຄັ່ງຕຶງລະຫວ່າງວິທີການດໍາລົງຊີວິດແບບດັ້ງເດີມ ແລະ ແຮງ​ກົດດັນຈາກຄວາມ​ທັນສະໄໝ​. ລາວ​ເວົ້າ​ວ່າ:​ “ຄົນ​ເຮົາ​ຢາກ​ກັບ​ຄືນ​ເມືອ​ບ້ານເກີດເມືອງນອນ​​​ເພື່ອ​ດຳ​ລົງ​ຊີ​ວິດ​ແບບກະທັດຫັດ​​ງ່າຍດາຍອີກຄັ້ງ​, ແຕ່ວ່າພວກ​ເຂົາກໍ​​ບໍ່​ສາ​ມາດ​ດຳ​ລົງ​ຊີ​ວິດ​ແບບເຊື່ອງ​ຊ້າ​ໄດ້​ດົນ​ນານພໍເທົ່າໃດ; ພວກເຂົາເຈົ້າຖືກບັງຄັບໂດຍສະພາບການ ແລະ ໂດຍຄວາມຮັບຜິດຊອບຂອງຕົນ​ ຫຼື ດ້ວຍຊິ້ນເຄີຍຕໍ່ການດໍາລົງ​ຊີວິດ​ໃນຕົວເມືອງໃຫຍ່ທີ່ມີຫຼາຍໂອກາດກ່ວາ​.” ໄຊສົງຄາມ​ເຫັນໄດ້ເຖິງປະເດັນ​ທີ່​​ປະ​ທະ​ກັນ​ລະ​ຫວ່າງ​ວິ​ທີ​ການ​ດໍາ​ລົງ​ຊີ​ວິດແບບ​ພື້ນ​ເມືອງ ​ແລະ ​ຄວາມ​ທັນ​ສະ​ໄໝ​​ທີ່​ກ່ຽວ​ຂ້ອງ​ກັບ​ຫຼາຍ​ຊຸມ​ຊົນ​ໃນ​ທົ່ວ​ໂລກ​.

    ໃນຖານະເປັນນັກສ້າງຮູບເງົາ, ໄຊສົງຄາມ​ໄດ້ຮັບລາງ​ວັນດີເດັ່ນໃນຫ້ອງທົດລອງພອນສະຫັວນ Talent Lab in 2017 ຂອງງານມະຫາ​ກຳຮູບເງົາຫຼວງພະບາງ ປີ 2017, ສະເໜີໂດຍ LPFF ແລະ ສະຖາບັນຮູບເງົາຕຣີເບກາ​; ແລະ ຍັງໄດ້ເປັນຜູ້ໄດ້ຮັບ​ທຶນສ້າງຮູບເງົາລາວ  Lao Filmmaker Fund Grantee ໃນປີ 2013,  ປີ 2014 ແລະ ປີ 2018. ຮູບເງົາທັງໝົດທີ່ສ້າງໂດຍບໍລິສັດ Lao New Wave Cinema Productions (ບໍລິສັດທີ່ໄຊສົງຄາມເປັນຜູ້​ຮ່ວມສ້າງ​ຕັ້ງຂຶ້ນ) ໄດ້ຖືກຄັດເລືອກ ແລະ ໄດ້ສະແດງຢູ່ LPFF ໃນໄລຍະຜ່ານມາ. ຍ້ອນ​ LPFF, ໄຊສົງຄາມ​ ເວົ້າວ່າ: “ມັນໄດ້ເຮັດໃຫ້​ພວກເຮົາໄດ້ຮັບການເຜີຍແຜ່ສູ່ສາທາລະນະ​, ມີການເຊື່ອມຕໍ່, ແລະ ມີໂອກາດຫຼາຍຂຶ້ນ,” ໄຊສົງຄາມຍັງ​ສັງເກດເຫັນວ່າການສະໜອງ​ທຶນແມ່ນສິ່ງທ້າທາຍອັນໃຫຍ່ຫຼວງສໍາລັບນັກສ້າງຮູບເງົາລາວ ແລະ ກອງທຶນຜູ້ສ້າງຮູບເງົາລາວແມ່ນແຫຼ່ງທຶນດຽວທີ່ມີຢູ່ໃນປະເທດ.

    ໃນຊຸມປີມໍ່ໆມານີ້, ໄຊສົງຄາມ ໄດ້ເລີ່ມຕົ້ນຮູບເງົາສັ້ນລ້ານຊ້າງ​, ຊຶ່ງເປັນເທດສະການ​ຮູບເງົາສັ້ນທີ່ສຸມໃສ່ການແຂ່ງຂັນຮູບເງົາສັ້ນ; “ຂ້ອຍ​​ປະຫຼາດ​ໃຈກັບຮູບ ເງົາທີ່ຫຼາກຫຼາຍ ແລະ ຄວາມກ້າ ຫານຂອງ​ຜູ້ສ້າງຮູບເງົາທີ່ມຸ່ງໜັ້ນ​ຢາກ​ສ້າງ ແລະ ນໍາສະເໜີ​. ເປັນຄວາມຫັວງທີ່ສຸດ​ສຳລັບອະນາຄົດຂອງຮູບເງົາລາວ. ຊາວໜຸ່ມທັງຍິງຊາຍ​ຫຼາຍຄົນມີຄວາມສົນໃຈຕໍ່​ການຜະລິດຮູບເງົາ.” ຄວາມຝັນຂອງລາວຢາກມີເວລາ ແລະ ທຶນຮອນເພື່ອຜະລິດສາລະຄະດີທີ່ມີຄວາມຍາວ​, ທີ່ສາມາດຕິດຕາມຕົວລະຄອນ ແລະ ເລື່ອງໄດ້ຫຼາຍປີ​. ລາວເວົ້າວ່າ: “ຂ້ອຍເຊື່ອວ່າໃນປະເທດລາວມີຫຼາຍເລື່ອງ​ທີ່ຄວນຈັບພາບ​ ແລະ ແບ່ງປັນໃຫ້ຄົນທົ່ວໂລກໄດ້ຮູ້ເຫັນ.”

    ສຶກສາເພີ່ມເຕີມກ່ຽວກັບຜົນງານຂອງເພີ່ນ / Learn more about his work

  • When he was a child, Soulasath Saul’s father directed the Lao national puppet troupe, and they would watch movies together, acting out scenes with toy guns. Saul’s first experiences performing for the public were with the puppet troupe, where his role was to speak back to the puppets and thus build audience rapport with them.  Over the years, he explored his interests in singing and acting, including at university. When he landed a role in Mattie Do’s Chanthaly (Laos, 2012), he “realized that I love acting, so then I went to study cinema and audio-visual technology in Paris.” Afterward, he returned to Laos to begin working on his own feature.

    Saul describes his films as thriller/drama/action, and they often explore themes around intense family dynamics, and clashing values. He is inspired by directors such as David Cronenberg, Jean-Luc Godard, John Woo, and Bong Joon-Ho.

    Like others, Saul lists budgetary constraints as a key challenge facing Lao filmmakers, as well as spaces for film industry people to share and build their technical expertise and platforms where work can be shared, but he points out that “the Luang Prabang Film Festival is the only and the best platform for Lao filmmakers and space providing film workshops for Lao filmmakers and Lao film lovers, where they can show their work to ASEAN peers and to the world and where they can exchange their experiences as filmmakers.”

    His dream is to make a superhero film with a distinctly Lao flavor: “I would love to make a film that highlights the potential of human beings, because everyone is unique, and this uniqueness constitutes diverse potential sources of help and ways of improving the lives of others in society.”

    ເບິ່ງຕົວຢ່າງຜົນງານທີ່ຜ່ານມາ / Watch the trailers
  • “I am pretty confident Laos is not really only about temples, monks, beautiful nature or those bombs that Americans dropped years ago.”

    Lee Phongsavanh started break-dancing when he was about 11, and it was this interest which led him into filmmaking – initially to create videos of other people dancing. He still practices dance every day now. As a kid, he watched Jackie Chan movies, and even thinks his father named him Lee after Bruce Lee. “But when I grew up,” he says, “it wasn’t about fighting anymore, I started to like drama, real stories.”

    Phongsavanh didn’t go to film school or learn filmmaking in a formal space. Instead, he taught himself using ‘behind the scenes’ footage and online resources, and later was lucky enough to be able to learn on the job, on film sets with Lao New Wave Cinema – an opportunity he says is all too rare for fledgling filmmakers in Laos. 

    A film competition was his way in: “I was like ok, I think I can do that, and I made a short film and I won the prize. The next year, they had it again, I entered again, and I won again.”

    His first feature, Signal (2022) doesn’t really fit into a single genre – it’s a bit dark comedy, a bit mystery, and a little science-fiction. In the film, a girl from the countryside comes to the city looking for her father. She stays in a house in the city with her uncle, and strange occurrences start to happen — “something is not normal.” 

    Phongsavanh believes that while similarities exist between Laos and other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Cambodia, something uniquely Lao should come out of Lao filmmaking; “there are those elements like mystery, tradition, and religion as themes in our films right now, but I think there is a lot more to Laos that needs time for us to figure out how best to express it.” 

    If he had an unlimited budget and time, he’d like to make a drama that shows different sides of Laos, away from the stereotypical images and themes people typically associate with the country, and which works towards creating a distinct Lao filmmaking style. “I would be really happy if in the near future when people watch Lao films, they say this is Lao film, this is Lao style — just like we do when we watch Thai, Korean or Japanese cinema or even Hollywood.”

    ເບິ່ງຕົວຢ່າງຜົນງານທີ່ຜ່ານມາ / Watch the trailers