When I was talking with the crew of the movie "At the Horizon", a Lao film to be shoot in June, it took a while when I recognized, that actually the story about the movie is as good as the movies script.
But first things first: At the Horizon is a feature action movie about two different worlds in Laos colliding: The wealthy influential people on the one hand and the poor and honest on the other hand. There is a death, anger, pain and kind of vendetta included. So far, it is something that happens in Laos (and other Southeast-Asian countries) quite often.
The plot is described as the following:
"Sin, a wealthy boy in his early twenties who was born with a good fortune, had been spoiled by his parents that he had never realized the importance of self-dependence and had become an irresponsible man. The boy lived his useless life relying on his parents wealth and power,
making him even more arrogant and pompous.
Lud, a mute middle-aged man, he came from a rural area to be a motorcycle mechanic in Vientiane. His wife worked as a market woman and had a six-year-old daughter with him. Though, Luds life was not gaudy, his family was warm and sufficient. However, one day, Lud unexpectedly faced the greatest loss of his life caused by Sin"
"We don't just tell the story. We want to create a different Lao movie. That's why we call us Lao New Wave Cinema Production", Xaisongkham, one of the team members, says. New things, in particular when it comes to media, are not that much to be welcomed in Laos. When they submitted the script, the government wasn't really excited and refused approval. After some discussons they now have the permission to shoot the movie, but no permission to screen it. Xaisongkham is still opptimistic: "We are sure the movie will be good, and they will like it once it is finished."
Most Lao movies like "Sabeidee Luang Prabang" or "Only Love" are melodramas. At the horizonn wants to go into another direction. There will be a lot of action, but, as director Anysay Keola mentions, this isn't the focus of the movie. "I want to go close to the characters" he says. But with the actions scenes will will also try a new approach in Lao movies.
The schedule is tight. at present the team of 10 people is preparing everything for the shooting that shall take place in June. In the recent days Anysay Keola and his co-workers invited actors for the casting. Since there is not a tradtion of movie actors, it is not that easy to find the right ones. "We deal with what we have and improve from there" Fabiola says. She is responsible for the actors training and wants to support the project with her skills in theater play.
The whole team isn't working for money. "We recently found a sponsor, but this will be mainly for food and expenses for the actors." Producing a movie isn't easy in Laos, since everyone has a dayjob. "That's why we cancelled shooting in the provinces, becaus eit is to far to go there. We would waste to much time we need for shooting." In October, that is the schedule, At The Horizon should be finished. "We hope to screen it at the Vientianale", Ansay says. Until then, so the team's hope, they will received the approval of the government.
If you want to follow the project, "like" it on Facebook. The group posts regulary updates about the progress. http://www.facebook.com/atthehorizon