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Originally founded as a bi-annual event in 2009, Vientianale became the country’s first film festival. Organised by a team of Lao and international coordinators, Vientianale has already run six successful editions, with a combined audience of more than 10,000 people.
Due to popular demand, in 2013 the festival launched Mini Vientianale, Laos’ first dedicated short film festival. Both Vientianale and Mini Vientianale screen a wide range of Lao and international films, with the aim to bring the best in filmmaking to the Vientiane community. From experimental shorts to acclaimed feature films, animation to documentaries, the festival celebrates the art of film and the diversity of Lao culture, emerging as an important platform for local filmmakers to screen their works.
Vientianale On The Road is a provincial outreach programme which brings the best of Lao cinema and filmmaking workshops to remote areas of the country. The main goals of Vientianale On The Road is to organize a serie of mobile screenings of new Lao short and feature films, along with filmmaking workshops and activities, in remote areas of Lao PDR.
Screenings are being held in five villages and six schools per province as well as in the provincial capital of each visited province, making it a total of 35 schools and 35 villages. The screening program focuses on films produced in Lao PDR, with a selection of recent Lao feature and short films including the best of Vientianale’s recent short film competitions.
With capacity development and film education as a core goal, Vientianale offers free filmmaking workshops in each provincial capital visited. The program also incorporates interactive film-themed activities for students during school visits run in conjunction with volunteers from Doklao (education media center).
Established Lao filmmakers from Lao New Wave Cinema conduct these workshops focusing on basic shooting techniques and editing with limited equipment (mobile phones and basic cameras) to encourage film production among the provincial youth. Each workshop runs for about three days and is held prior to the screenings. Short films are produced as the result of each workshop, which are then screened to celebrate the students’ achievements.
EXO Foundation has decided to support Vientianale On the road activities towards local youth in remote areas of Laos. This organization is aligned with EXO Foundation’s goals which are cultural revival, heritage preservation and promotion of sustainability (which is a focus of Vientianale film’s selection).