Sakchai Deenan is Thai, but he's pretty big in Laos. Talk about filmmaking and cultural exchange among the nations of Southeast Asia and the man with limited means and image of a constantly struggling director has carved out a unique new segment, feeding off the interconnectedness between the peoples of Thailand and Laos, and managed to reap fair success these past four years.
Lao actress Khamly Philavong, left, on the set with Thai director Sakchai Deenan.
In 2008, Sakchai's debut feature film, Sabaidee Luang Prabang, which he co-directed with Anousone Sirisackda from Laos and starred Ananda Everingham, who is half-Lao, half-Australian, was credited with resurrecting enthusiasm in movies in our neighbouring country, where filmmaking was virtually non-existent in the decade preceding it. After directing five films in Laos, often featuring a mix of Thai, Lao and other luk krueng cast, Sakchai's upcoming film, The Red Scarf, is making waves. It is the first Lao horror movie in decades with a purely native cast. The film is Sakchai's first attempt at doing the entire movie in the Lao language.
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