Chiang Mai, Thailand: Open Air Cinema Foundation at the Lifescapes Southeast Asia Film Festival

We will be hopping a flight bright and early tomorrow morning for Chiang Mai (Thailand) to attend the Lifescapes Southeast Asia Film Festival. The Lifescapes program will screen contemporary films documentary, docu-drama, dramatic to showcase thoughtful work with a social conscience. The festival hopes to raise awareness the film culture and filmmakers of Southeast Asia who make meaningful social commentary with their work showing the beautiful without flinching from grim reality. The films will explore regional issues within mainland Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Lao, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The program will be interactive, offering directors, producers, NGO representatives, and audience members the opportunity to join together in post-screening Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and talks throughout the program. In addition to the films, presentations include the use of music in film, the purpose of film to merge beauty, entertainment and social conscience, as well as film censorship in SE Asia. We will also hear from training organizations in SE Asia who provide opportunity for young, local filmmakers to tell their stories through film. The main objectives of the Lifescapes Film Festival are right in line with the mission of the Open Air Cinema Foundation: Objective 1 To use film and cinematic art as a medium to explore regional issues and human rights struggles within the five mainland Southeast Asian countries: Cambodia, Laos, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam (Mekong Sub-Region). Objective 2 To celebrate Southeast Asian filmmakers who insert meaningful and necessary social commentary into their work; thus, successfully merging cinematic aesthetic and social conscience. Objective 3 To converge the media, education, and NGO sectors in the Mekong Sub-Region to engage in dialogue, forge relationships, and build ideas between groups to further global and regional initiatives.

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