The Luang Prabang Film Festival is a charitable cultural organization committed to the celebration of Southeast Asian film and to the growth and support of local and regional film industries and filmmakers. Southeast Asia is a magical part of the world, its cultures are many, and its plot lines are richly diverse. We want see these stories told, and told well, and we want everyone watching.
Cultural Expression: With support from like-minded organizations, we seek to inspire expression and cultural diversity 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. We all know that great films start with great ideas, and so LPFF cultivates the sharing of great ideas and discussion through our many panels and activities.
Sustainable Industry: We aim to create jobs and income for filmmakers by building connections and supporting a sustainable regional film industry with a particular focus on building capacity in Laos.
Diversity: We believe strongly in equal representation of all perspectives and take pride in including content that reflects differences in opinion, ethnicity, gender, and belief.
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 countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), spotlighting them each year in the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang.
This inspiring environment, rich in culture, provides an ideal backdrop for artists and industry professionals to share their experiences and showcase their talent. It 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, and the whole town becomes the perfect setting for celebrating the art of cinema. LPFF believes in equal access, and thus, all our screenings are open to the public and free of charge. At our main outdoor venue, we set up 800 blue chairs, but regularly welcome eager audiences of over 1,500 people per screening.
To celebrate the best of the best that Southeast Asian cinema has to offer, LPFF enlists our Motion Picture Ambassadors to help curate our festival. It is the responsibility of these film experts to suggest around ten films made within the past five years, which represent the finest filmmaking from their respective countries. From those lists, LPFF procures screeners from the regional distribution companies that are interested in participating in our non-traditional festival. A small committee of Lao nationals and foreigners (alongside the Department of Cinema) decide on the final films to be screened. LPFF is quite indebted to our volunteer Motion Picture Ambassadors, all of whom spend a great deal of time carefully preparing their suggestions and promoting our festival in their respective countries.
What kinds of films do you show at the festival?
The Luang Prabang Film Festival only shows films from Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), and from across all genres. Currently, our main focus is feature films from these countries, but we also include sidebar programs of short film collections from Laos and the region.
How are the films selected?
Our program is curated by our Motion Picture Ambassador, who are film experts from around the region. They recommend to us the best recent films made in their respective countries, we work with the relevant filmmakers and distribution companies about their participation before our local Selection Committee and the Lao PDR’s Department of Cinema decide on the best program for each festival.
How do I submit my film to the festival?
As explained above, we do not have an open-call for submissions. However, if you have a film made in Southeast Asia that you would like us to consider for the festival, you may send a DVD to the address listed on our Contact page, and include this form in your package. If appropriate, we may share the title with your country’s Motion Picture Ambassador for their consideration.
How do I book my travel arrangements to attend the festival?
Please see our Planning Your Visit page to contact Exo Travel, our Official Travel Partner, for all of your discounted flight, hotel, and tour booking needs. They have put together terrific and flexible packages for anyone interested in coming to the festival, including Patrons Tours, which give you VIP access to our events with a built-in donation!
Do I need to purchase or reserve tickets to the screenings?
All of our listed screenings and activities are free and open to the public. There are no tickets to reserve, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For our Day Venue screenings and panels, it is recommended that visitors arrive on time, if not early, as there is limited seating.
How can I get from one festival venue to another?
Luang Prabang is a very small town, and our main venues are just a few minutes’ walk away from each other. However, every fifteen minutes, a free shuttle is available to bring guests between the two venues. Most of our Films Around Town locations are also accessible by foot, though the town has bicycles for rent and affordable tuk-tuks for hire, as well. In addition, many hotels offer shuttle and transportation services for their guests.
Is parking available at the venues?
There is free street parking available at most times. During the evening screenings at our Night Venue, supervised parking is available across the street at the Tourist Information Center.
Do the films have subtitles?
All of our films are screened in their native languages with English subtitles.
Are there restroom facilities at the venues?
All of our venues have restroom facilities. There is a small fee to use the public restroom at the Night Venue, which is located behind the screen.
Is food available to purchase at the venues?
There are food and drinks available for purchase at both our Day Venue and Night Venue. Grab dinner at our evening market and eat at your seats!
Does the festival sell DVDs of the films it screens?
Currently, we do not sell any DVDs of the films in our program. We suggest contacting the distribution companies directly for information on where to make these purchases.
Am I able to volunteer at the festival?
We’d love your help, both during the festival and throughout our planning stages. Please get in touch, and let us know your availability and if you have any relevant skills or experience that you think would benefit the project.
How can my company or organization become a sponsor?
Please see our Corporate Sponsorship page for more information about supporting the activities of the festival. We welcome the assistance of all kinds of organizations, and have several levels to match a range of budgets.
Can I make a donation to the festival?
Yes, and we’d appreciate it very much! Donations can be made via a variety of methods through the Luang Prabang Fund for Culture and Conservation, and all US-based contributions are tax-deductible. Please see our Individual Donations page for more information.