Monday, March 03, 2008

sabaidee luang prabang

First Laotian Feature Film in 20 Years Set for Release

The Laotian government has apparently financed a romantic story set in Luang Prabang, a small city (population 22,000) located on the Mekong River in the north central region of the country. The film is entitled Sabaidee Luang Prabang (Good Morning, Luang Prabang) and stars Ananda Everingham "as a Lao-Australian photographer who returns to his father's home country of Laos," according to Wise Kwai's Thai Film Journal. He "gets in touch with his heritage during a trip that takes him the length of the country. Along [the] way, he bonds and falls in love with his female guide, played by Laotian beauty queen Khamlek Pallawong."

Good Morning, Luang Prabang is a Laotian-Thai co-production and is the first feature film from Laos in nearly 20 years. Wise Kwai, a Bangkok-based journalist, says that the so-called "film industry" in Laos has been limited prima! rily to producing made-for-television features and state-controlled propaganda videos since 1988. The media is still under strict control of the government.
Ananda Everingham, 25, previously was featured in the original version of Shutter (the U.S. remake is due out shortly) as well as Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's Ploy. Everingham was "born in Thailand to an Australian photojournalist father and a Laotian mother, a legendary romance that was the subject of an American made-for-TV movie," Love is Forever, starring Michael Landon. The busy young actor reduced his usual fee to appear in the movie. Good Morning, Luang Prabang is set for release on April 10, just in time for the New Year's holiday celebrated in Laos and Thailand.

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