Tag Archives: annual

Xayaboury Prepares for Annual Elephant Festival

Almost 70 elephants will feature in Xayaboury’s annual elephant festival from February 13-19, aiming to promote the province’s colourful culture and local livelihoods.

The aim of the festival is preserve the culture and livelihoods of Lao people who work with elephants. Elephants are a longstanding part of the nation’s history and have been an integral part of Lao life since ancient times.

Deputy Governor of the province, Mr Yanyong Sipaseuth, who also is a member of the event organising committee told media recently the 11th elephant festival will take place from February 13 to 19 at Xayaboury district stadium with the official opening being held on February 17.

Every year, provincial authorities plan many activities to celebrate the festival and this coming February 68 elephants will take part in events such as a grand parade, a baci ceremony, and even a beauty contest. The animals will also demonstrate their skills and the close relationship they have with their mahouts.

Visitors can take a ride on an elephant and watch them being bathed in the river.

In the evening there will be a vibrant street market featuring local products and goods from neighbouring countries.

The festival will spotlight the past and present role that elephants play in Laos, and their importance in Lao history and lifestyle.

It also highlights the plight of these endangered animals, whose numbers are dwindling fast.

Currently, elephant owners are being encouraged to care for their animals so that they are not overworked and can reproduce. Their former role as the mighty haulers of massive tree trunks through forests is becoming a thing of the past and instead they are living an easier life in the tourism industry.

The first elephant festival was held in 2007 in Hongsa district, when it was organised by the conservation group ElefantAsia.

It was subsequently held in Paklai district and then in Xayaboury district, which has hosted the event since 2012.

Source: Vientiane Times

Students Face Off in Annual Robot Contest

Students from several faculties broadened their knowledge of robotics skills after taking part in the 13th Robot Contest 2016 at the National University of Laos (NUOL) on Friday.

This year students were able to use their knowledge and ideas to develop new robots for the contest.

The goal of the annual event is to build skills in robot design and operation. The contest aims to develop students’ ability to design and engineer robots while teaching them to work as part of a team when it comes to problem solving.

The robot contest attracts junior level students who are pursuing paths in science, engineering and technology. This year the contest took on extra significance as 2016 is the 20th anniversary of NUOL.

The robot contest involves the use of computer science and electrical and electronic engineering.

The annual contest is supported by several bodies and was first held in 2002 with the aim of sparking students’ interest in science, engineering and technology and encouraging them to improve their skills by giving them an opportunity to design, assemble and operate their own robots.

The contest is organised by the Faculty of Engineering and the Japanese Embassy to Laos.

The opening ceremony this year was attended by Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Dr Kongsy Sengmany, Minister of the Japanese Embassy to Laos Mr Kazunori Kawada, senior officials from NUOL, and students. Dr Kongsy said the contest represented the hard work of talented students and dedicated teachers.

He hoped the contest would serve to improve studying and teaching methods as well as contribute to higher standards at the university.

Eight teams competed in the event, including from the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science, Soutsaka College, Lao-Japanese Technical Training Centre, Lao-Top College and the Vocational Technical School in Luang Prabang province.

The electrical engineering team from the Faculty of Engineering won the contest outright, receiving 5 million kip and a certificate.

They will now have the opportunity to go to Japan under the “JENESYS 2016” educational programme arranged by the Japanese Embassy to Laos.

Second place went to teams from Computer Engineering and Information and Technology, who won a cash prize, while third place went to a team from the Faculty of Computer Science, who also received a cash prize.

The Vocational Technical School in Luang Prabang province received a cash prize for good design, while the Lao- Japanese Technical Training Centre won a cash prize for their use of technology.


Source: Vientiane Times

LPB Film Festival Releases Movie Lineup for 7th Annual Event

The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) is pleased to release the lineup for its seventh annual event, which will run 2-7 December 2016.

Official selections are made by experts and critics from across Southeast Asia referred to as “Motion Picture Ambassadors,” and represent a carefully chosen collection of what they believe to be the finest contemporary films from their respective countries. By identifying great curators with inside understanding of their community’s film scene, LPFF is able to produce a unique program that ensures in the inclusion of the strongest voices from across Southeast Asia.

Not only is LPFF a celebration of the finest Southeast Asian cinema, it has become well known as a unique forum for regional film professionals to network internationally and to exchange diverse ideas and experiences.

The feature films in the 2016 festival program are:

A Copy of My Mind (Indonesia)*

A Yellow Bird (Singapore)

About a Woman (Indonesia)

Apocalypse Child (Philippines)*

Back to the 90s (Thailand)

Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice (Laos)*

Before the Fall (Cambodia)*

Brutal (Malaysia)*

Cambodian Son (Cambodia)*

City of Jade (Myanmar)

The Crescent Moon (Indonesia)*

Diamond Island (Cambodia)*

The Down (Thailand)*

Finding Phong (Vietnam)*

Fundamentally Happy (Singapore)*

Haze (Philippines)

Joking Jazz 4G (Thailand)

Khunpan (Thailand)*

Louis Loves Baitong (Laos)*

LOVE (Vietnam)

Love Forever (Laos)*

Lovesucks (Thailand)*

Ma’ Rosa (Philippines)

May Who? (Thailand)

Ola Bola (Malaysia)

Question of Faith (Indonesia)*

The Return (Singapore)

The River Flows (Laos)*

Senior (Thailand)*

Sweet Twenty (Vietnam)*

There’s No Forever (Philippines)

Y/Our Music (Thailand)*


*Films with confirmed directors, producers, or actors in attendance.

In addition to LPFF’s feature film screenings, LPFF will also have four programs of short films: a collection of recent architecture-themed titles including The Man Who Built Cambodia by Christopher Rompre and Haig Balian, and Aditya Assarat’s La Scala; a selection from the 2016 Vientianale Short Film Competition that will showcase budding talent in Laos; Philippine shorts to compliment the festival’s SPOTLIGHT (see below); and recent award winners on Viddsee, an online video platform featuring short films from across Asia.


There will also be several major public discussions this year for visitors of the festival, including a discussion on online programming and video-on-demand, featuring Siam Film Associates, an aggregator for Netflix, and FilmDoo, a TVOD service with films from over 125 countries. This year’s SPOTLIGHT program is on the Philippines, with a full day of programming devoted to screenings and discussion of Philippine features and shorts, showcasing the nation’s exciting and rapid development in film production. This program will be hosted by Francis “Oggs” Cruz, LPFF’s Motion Picture Ambassador for the Philippines.

In an exciting new collaboration, staff from Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI) will be attending the festival this year, leading a Talent Lab for Southeast Asian filmmakers on grant writing and project pitching. After sessions of instruction, practice, and a pitch forum with feedback given by various industry professionals, one project showing great promise will be selected by TFI to attend the TFI Network market, which will take place in New York City at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival®. There, TFI will arrange meetings for the filmmaker with editors, distributors, and financiers. TFI will then mentor him/her through the completion of the project. Later this month, a call for applications will be released, inviting Southeast Asian filmmakers to apply to participate in this Lab.

Well over half of the festival’s films have already confirmed the attendance of their directors, producers, or actors. These filmmakers will participate in numerous festival events, including post-screening Q&As at the LPFF Day Venue located at Sofitel Luang Prabang.

LPFF will offer five live evening performances on its main stage before headline screenings at its Night Venue, the Handicraft Market at the main intersection in town. There will be live dance, music, and theater, as well as a concert with some of Laos’ brightest stars.


On display will be an exhibition of photographs from Myanmar ­­­­from the lauded Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project, accompanied by a presentation by the initiative’s founder, Philip Jablon. As a reprise to his trip there over five years ago, Jablon spent February and March of this year researching and photographing movie theaters in Myanmar, a nation experiencing an overall rebirth of cinema-going. Included in the exhibition will be images from both research trips.

All screenings and activities of the festival are free and open to the public.


The festival’s biggest sponsor this year is the Lao Brewery Company with three of their brands: Beerlao Gold, Pepsi, and Tigerhead. The amount of funds LBC has invested is the largest the Luang Prabang Film Festival has ever received from a single company. It is also the largest amount that LBC has ever given to an external project in its history.

This year, Oxfam International has supported LPFF’s Lao Filmmakers Fund, a publicly-generated fund that allows filmmakers in Laos to apply for grants to help realize their film projects. Oxfam’s donation has allowed local filmmakers to apply for grants of up to $10,000 USD per project. Last year’s grant recipients were Suliyachak Phuntulad and Mattie Do, and this year’s winners will be announced in early November.

Other supporters of the 2016 festival are the US Embassy Vientiane, The Asia Foundation, Exo Travel, Chillax Productions, Dao Coffee, Sofitel Luang Prabang, the Nam Theun 2 Power Company, Indochina Productions, l’Eléphant, DK Lao, Theun-Hinboun Power Company, EQHO, Aenoteca, NP Service & Design, and Final Draft.

To book a trip to the Luang Prabang Film Festival, please contact Exo Travel at laos@exotravel.com. As LPFF’s Official Travel Partner, Exo Travel has exclusive access to preferential rates with LPFF’s Hotel Partners, which include: Ansara Hotel (in Vientiane), Apsara, Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao, Cold River Guesthouse, Kiridara, Le Sen Boutique Hotel, Lotus Villa, Maison Souvannaphoum, Mekong Riverview Hotel, Sala Prabang, Sanctuary Hotel, Satri House, Sofitel Luang Prabang, Villa Chitdara, Villa Maly, and Villa Maydou. Furthermore, booking with Exo Travel directly supports LPFF, as a percentage of each booking goes back to the project.

For more information on the festival, visit lpfilmfest.org or stay up to date at facebook.com/lpfilmfest.

For press enquiries, please contact eliza.mott@lpfilmfest.org.

Festival Spirit Flows as Annual Regatta Rows into Luang Prabang

A team from Vientiane rowed past all rivals to capture top prize in LuangPrabang’s province’s annual boat racing festival held on Nam Khan River in Luang Prabang district yesterday.

Buddhists, Devotees Lay Out Ancestral Offerings for Annual Feast

People in Laos celebrated the Buddhist feast day of HorKhaopadapdin nationwide by getting up in the dark and early hours of morning to follow the time-honoured tradition of dedicating special food packets to ancestral spirits.

Luang Prabang Prepares for Annual Boat Racing Festival

Luang Prabang provincial authorities will organise their annual boat racing festival in Namnheungkhan village, Luang Prabang district, seeking to promote Lao culture and customs to visitors.