Laos’ first and only female director needs your help

Mattie Do is something of a historical figure in her native country of Laos…not only is she the director of the nation’s first ever horror film, she also happens to be the first woman to ever direct a Laotian motion picture. That was two years ago, and to this day, she remains the country’s only female director (side note: Laos currently only has four working directors total, so as my partner pointed out, that means the entire country has a better gender spread among its filmmakers than Hollywood does).

Anyway, here’s the trailer for Mattie Do’s first film (and again, the first Laotian horror film ever made), Chanthaly:

Looks good, right? Even from that brief glimpse, it looks as though Ms. Do definitely seems to know what she’s doing behind the camera, and now she wants to do it again. That’s right…Mattie Do and her crew are in preproduction on Laos’ SECOND horror film, and they need your help to get it off the ground.

Titled Nong Hak (aka Dearest Sister), the film is another ghost story, and it sounds like it could be pretty great. Check out the description from Ms. Do herself:

Nong Hak tells the story of a village girl from southern Laos who travels to Vientiane to care for her rich cousin who has mysteriously lost her sight, and somehow gained the ability to communicate with the dead. When the poor girl realizes that her cousin is receiving messages from the spirits that allow her to win the lottery, she has to choose between nursing her cousin back to health or keeping sick in order to get rich herself.”

I’m definitely interested, and if you love film, I think you probably should be, too, even if you’re not a fan of horror films. No matter what, this is a historic film in a number of ways; it’s the second horror film from the only female director in Laos, a small nation not normally known for its film culture, and that is pretty exciting. Globalization and the advancement of affordable communication and production technologies have allowed for more voices to be heard from all around the world, and that means interesting films like those directed by Ms. Do will get out into the world and find an audience far beyond the borders of her native land. I think that’s pretty cool, and I hope she succeeds in getting Nong Hak off the ground.

That’s how you can help. Mattie Do still needs about US$30,000 to make her latest film, and she has set up an Indiegogo campaign to try and raise the money. If you want to contribute, you can visit the page by clicking here to get the lowdown on the film and all the perks you get when you become a backer. I kicked in five bucks, because I’m a lowly grad student and that’s about all I can afford right now. But every little bit helps, right? So if you want to become a part of history, I urge you to go and help Mattie Do make her second horror film. Not only will you be helping a fresh voice be heard on a large scale, but you’ll also be helping to counter the gender disparity that exists in film, and that’s no small thing.

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