With six days of Southeast Asian film to sink your teeth into, Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) is an up-and-coming event that should be on any film lovers' bucket list.
Whether you're the kind of film lover that likes to get cosy in the back row or the one that shushes people for munching too loudly on their popcorn, Luang Prabang's film festival offering is bound to get you excited. Grab a bucket of popcorn (or leave that to the noisy couple next to you) and settle in for a movie marathon.
Bringing some of Southeast Asia's most talked about films to the general public, LPFF is a celebration of storytellers from ten different countries. The festival is produced on behalf of the Lao government, and receives support from them in the form of the venues and staff during both the planning stages and the event itself.
The festival creates the perfect setting for budding filmmakers and industry professionals to share their experiences and show off their talent. It prides itself on being much more than just an annual event, offering programmes for filmmakers and industry professionals year-round.
LPFF stands out from the crowd, transforming Luang Prabang into a seemingly ad-hoc theatre. The Night Venue is at the Handicraft Market, with other screenings taking place at what the organisers describe as 'non-traditional' venues. The likes of five-star hotels and market places offer their space in the name of film. All festival screenings are free and open to the public. At the main outdoor venue, 800 blue chairs will be set up for audiences, but as many as 1,000 people have showed up in the past. We suggest getting there a little earlier than the allotted time to ensure a seat, or be prepared to stand.
The way the festival handles its programme is also worth noting. Whereas the usual protocol would be to submit your own film to a festival, LPFF has film experts from the region (Motion Picture Ambassadors) recommend the best recent films made in their countries, and the filmmakers and distribution companies are then contacted about their participation. The selection committee ultimately decides on the best programme. Anyone looking to submit a film to the festival is able to send a DVD copy for approval.
Many hotels in the area make contributions to the festival, and provide discounted rates for visitors to the festival. These include Le Sen, Belmond Phou Vao and The Sanctuary among others. Many of the hotels also offer shuttle services to the festival, although most of the film venues are within walking distance of each other.
Don't worry about cracking out your running shoes when you visit Laos this December, you'll get much more out of a movie marathon. We promise.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!