When Laotian director Mattie Do released her debut feature Chanthaly
last year she entered the record books on multiple fronts. For Chanthaly
was not only the first horror film made in the history of Laos, it was also the first Laotian film ever helmed by a woman and - after being selected at Austin's Fantastic Fest - the first Laotian film to ever screen anywhere outside of Southeast Asia. Which is not at all a bad accomplishment for a film produced on a total budget of under five thousand dollars.
So, how does one follow this up? Well, for one thing Do promised her producers that she would one day bring Laotian film to Cannes and then promptly made good on that promise by having her proposed follow up - Dearest Sister
- selected as one of the ten projects in the Cinemas du Monde project production market this year
. And, also, you add more blood. Which can apparently be bought - real, actual blood - for about a buck per liter in Laotian markets.
All of which leads me to this: A few months back I was approached by crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo and asked if I'd be interested in finding some way for ScreenAnarchy to collaborate with them in such larger format. The answer was yes, let's find emerging directors preparing their first or second feature films - specifically genre films - in developing nations not known for their genre output and see if we can't help get them what they need to make their films. And let's start with Mattie Do. And what Mattie needs is your bucks so that she can buy blood
Nong Hak (Dearest Sister) tells the story of a village girl from southern Laos who
travels to Vientiane to care for her rich cousin who has mysteriously
lost her sight, and somehow gained the ability to communicate with the
dead. When the poor girl realizes that her cousin is receiving messages
from the spirits that allow her to win the lottery, she has to choose
between nursing her cousin back to health or keeping sick in order to
get rich herself.
Do is ramping this up this time which means she needs to raise some additional funds for the film. She's looking to raise an extra thirty thousand dollars towards her budget and while that may be a tiny budget by Western standards it would make Dearest Sister
quite comfortably the highest budgeted Laotian film ever made. And also the bloodiest. I've just bought Do a hundred liters of blood myself, now it's up to you to watch the video below and buy a liter or two yourself by visiting the IndieGoGo page here
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