The third annual US-ASEAN Film and Photography Festival was held on Nov 2-5 in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Grace Heritage in collaboration with the National Geographic.
The Grace Heritage was founded by two Indonesian women, artist Karina Lee Sadyatmiko and businesswoman Jasmine Wibisono in 2003. According to the two founders, the Grace Heritage was established as a forum to showcase the culture, traditions and religion of the Southeast Asia region through visual arts, music, film and photography.
The 2006 festival was held at the National Geographic Society Headquarters in Washington DC. The Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, H. E. Ong Keng Yong,
was the keynote speaker. Many ambassadors from the ASEAN countries also attended to help promote the cultural night. This year’s festival was designed to be an exploration through still and moving images of the region’s captivating landscapes, its diverse people and culture and unique traditions. Featured were several films from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The still images on exhibit included works
by photographers from the U.S., Indonesia, and Brunei, featuring scenes from various countries including Laos.
Lao-American Kingsavanh Pathammavong was one of the four photographers exhibiting their works under the theme “Southeast Asia: Four Views and Four Colors.”
He talked to VOA about his work, “I am very honored and proud to be a part of these selections. I’ve submitted many of the pictures I took during my recent trip to Laos. Since 1973, I had never been back to my homeland. At first, I was very nervous of the uncertainty. I did not know what to expect. Many people who had gone back had different comments, different experiences, good and bad. But after landing in Laos for the first time in thirty three years, I felt very good; no bad incidents occurred. I was very happy to be back, and I started taking more than two thousands shoots on the first day I got there.”
Mr. Kingsavanh had captured great images of working people in Laos. He expressed thanks to those people he captured in his photos, adding that “For those of you who listen to VOA, I thank you for those smiles and friendship that you have shown me during my trip back to Laos. Your photos are now on exhibit at the National Geographic Society, one of the highly recognized institutions in the world, and I thank you.”
Listen to our audio file for more details.