` Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) `

Blossoming Lao Cinema at the ASEAN Film Awareness Month

Three dynamic Lao genre films are bringing rich Lao culture and to the Philippines at the ASEAN Film Awareness Month.

Above It All, filmmaker Anysay Keola’s second feature film. Dealing with marriage, sexuality, career choices, and family values, centers on Noy, a gay medical student who is about to get married to a rich girlfriend but has to come clean with his sexual preferences, and Noy, a poor Hmong woman struggling whether to stay with her musician boyfriend or marry overseas to pay her parents’ debt. The film is exceptionally significant for tackling homosexuality in Lao society, as well as taking on Hmong traditions.

More mainstream fare can be found in Thavisack Thammavongsa’s I Love You, a romantic drama-comedy quite like the Philippines’s own. In the film, beautiful, business-naïve Lady, who comes from a rich family is intent on opening a store catering to her vanity and posh taste. But rather than patronize his daughter, her father sends her out to Ban Na Hing Hoy to raise the money herself. There she discovers industrious farmer Phoupha, who helps on her quest, despite the many obstacles on their way.

Last but certainly not the least of the films, Mattie Do’s Chantaly is the first film in Laos to be made by a female film director. Chantaly is named after the film’s sickly protagonist, who lives alone with her oppressive father and sees what she believes are visions of her dead mother. A forced change in medication rids her of the hallucinations, but it is then that Chantaly wonders if she should allow the ghost to bring its message to her. A slow burn of a film, Chantaly is also significant for being the first horror film to be directed and written in Laos as well as being released from its copyright and entered into public domain by the filmmaker herself.

The films will be shown free of charge along with other Southeast Asian film selections from March 1 to April 3, 2016, at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, and screen with English subtitles.Certain films will be shown at an outdoor screenings, and some will be graced by the presence of their filmmakers for a Q&A session. Film schedules and details are available on our social media channels and on the FDCP website, http://www.fdcp.ph/contents/view?id=cinemathequemanila.

Film Development Council of the Philippines