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"Sabaidee Luang Prabang"  Premieres at the Smithsonian Institute


Sabaidee Luang Prabang or Good Morning Luang Prabang, is the very first feature Lao film ever made in Laos since the fall of the Royal Government, more than 30 years. The movie and music industry was, at one point, banned after the Communist took over the country. Since Laos opened its doors to the outside world in 1986, it has become a preferred destination for people around the globe who are anxious to get a glimpse of this unspoiled land-locked country.

The showing of “Sabaidee Luang Prabang” was co-sponsored by the Grace Heritage Foundation and the Smithsonian at the 5th annual US-ASEAN Film & Photography Festival. It was shown on Friday night, September 26, 2008. More than 250 people from the various communities of the Washington metropolitan area came out to watch it.

Two Laotian-Americans, Mr. Khamphoui Singvongsa from Chicago, Illinois, and Soumary Vongrassamy of Virginia expressed their thoughts about the film: “It is very important to me because I am a first generation Laotian here in the United States. I am very happy and excited to see the first Lao film on a big screen. I am proud to be a part of this historical event. This film is about Laos, my mother's homeland. My family is from Vientiane, and we have not gone back to visit Laos yet. I plan to take her back to Laos in next April and I am very excited, “ Soumary said.

Khamphoui Singvongsa’s response is, “After seeing the film “Sabaidee Luang Prabang, I feel very proud that Laos has raised itself to another level, to showcase not only for Laotians, but also for other people around the world about the culture, traditions, religion and ways of life of its people.“

Other non-Laotians who saw the film, shared their feelings and said that they enjoyed the movie very much and it remind them of being in Laos. They wished the movie would go out further than just a big three cities, but over all it’s a good tour of Laos.

The movie industry of Laos is at the beginning stage and needs a lot of time, capital and markets to support it, in order for it to revive again after such a long hiatus. Let’s hope that many more films will be made in Laos for all of us to see, enjoy and learn from.

Please listen to audio files for more details.

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