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Jeremy Colson

Jeremy Colson's festival coverage.

Film Festival ambassador to
Visiting Athens, Bangkok, Cairo, Hanoi, Hiroshima, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Kathmandu, Neasden and more.


Luang Prabang Film Festival now in full swing

LUANG PRABANG ~ Building on the success of last year's inaugural event, the director of the Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) believes that this year's iteration, now in its fourth day, will further establish the LPFF on the Southeast Asia cultural calendar.
"I think we have a good formula, one that works well for film-makers and audiences alike, and although we know we can make improvements, we  believe we are on the right track," Gabriel Kuperman told FilmFestivals.Com today.
The festival kicked off with a colorful opening ceremony and a world premier preview of a documentary titled On Safer Ground. The film tells the story of a group of football-crazy Laos who make it to the Gothia Youth Cup, the equivalent of the World Cup for teenagers involving teams from 60 countries.
At one level, On Safer Ground is a heart-warming account of how a group of youngsters manage to achieve a dream, but the film also brings in references to the urgent need to remove the vast quantity of unexploded bombs dropped by America on this tiny landlocked country as a sideshow of the main theatre of war in Vietnam some 40 years ago.
For Kuperman, the film epitomizes the character of the festival. "This is a film that has southeast Asia at it's heart, and portrays Asians at their best, overcoming enormous obstacles with great spirit and determination."
On Safer Ground should do well on the film festival circuit and is a credit not only to its principal actor and leader, Gareth Carter, but to Laos itself.
Other films of note include At The Horizon (Laos), Ways of the Sea (Philippines), Facing Genocide (Cambodia), and Finding Face (Cambodia).
Cuperman does not claim that each and every one of the 30+ films  being shown is up to international standard. What he does say is that the Luang Prabang festival is the only one that focuses exclusively on Southeast Asian cinema. "Several other festivals may have sections devoted to Southeast Asia but none does what we are doing, which is to include at least one entry from as many of the region's countries as possible. I think this is important."
Ten of the 13 Southeast Asian nations are represented at the festival, the exceptions being Brunei, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.
Cuperman is particularly pleased with the progress of the film industry in Laos itself. "On the home-front, we have seen considerable growth in film-making in Laos. More films are being produced [here] than ever before, and film-makers are moving from short- to feature-length films as skills and infrastructure develop," he said, adding that foreign companies are taking a greater interest in Laos as a location for making both documentary and fiction films.
In addition to film screenings, the festival is for the first time featuring several specially curated exhibitions that represent different aspects of Southeast Asian cinema. 
There are still two more days to go before the curtain falls on LPFF 2011. The closing film Dark Clouds (Philippines) is keenly anticipated.


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About Jeremy Colson

Colson Jeremy

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This is the diary of a festival ambassador travelling throughout Asia and elsewhere around the world.  Festivals covered include: Bangkok, Phuket, Istanbul, Antalya, Estonia, London, Calcutta, Goa, Trivandrum, Chennai, Neasden and more


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