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The British Embassy Vientiane is working on a project with various partners to build capacity within the Lao film sector.
The project, delivered with the Lao government, the Vientianale International Film Festival and local filmmakers focuses on identifying training and other areas of need within the Lao film industry and providing recommendations about future possibilities for cooperation in delivering capacity building in the film sector.
As a highlight and main activity of the film project, Lord David Puttnam, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and an Oscar-winning film producer, opened a one-day masterclass for local filmmakers on Saturday. Other local, expat and international film specialists participating included Anousone Sirisackda, Lao director and producer and CEO of Lao Art Media; Christopher Larsen, script writer and editor living in Laos and Katelijn Verstraete, the British Council’s Regional Director for Arts & Creative Industries.
Attendees were able to put their questions directly to the three film specialists during a Q&A session, after which the main challenges and future opportunities for the Lao film sector were discussed in a plenary session.
The day closed with a screening of one of Lord Puttnam’s best loved films, Local Hero, at an informal Pop Up Cinema event in the British Embassy garden.
Parallel to the preparations for the masterclass, the Embassy’s partner Vientianale conducted a small-scale research project on past, present and future film sector capacity building activities.
Results from both the masterclass and research will be collected into a small publication, summarising former film capacity building activities in Laos, and listing organisations interested in the film education sector, with the aim of facilitating better coordination and networking of interested parties in the future.