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Laos’ first female director to attend Tasmanian horror film festival

Daniel Driscoll

Mon Aug 18 2014

Mattie Do Chanthaly

MATTIE Dao has the honour of being both the first female director of Laos and the first person to make a feature-length horror film in the country. Daniel Driscoll explains more about her film and its appearance at the Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival in Tasmania.

Laos’s first female film director Mattie Do will be attending the third annual Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival in Hobart to present her debut film Chanthaly,which will be the festival’s closing night feature. 

Chantaly has the distinction of being the first horror film made in Laos and only the fourth feature film ever made there. The film is a psychological ghost story that reflects on aspects of Laotian society and was was produced on a tiny budget. So much so that part filming took place in the director’s own house where her pet dog even has a starring role.

On the festival, director Do was excited to be part of something special.

“It’s amazing that I can be a part of an event [like the Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival] that so strongly promotes women’s talents and stories. Being the only woman to have directed a feature film in my country, I often feel like the odd one out.”

The filmmaker has also said she’s looking forward to sharing ideas and low budget film making tips with the local film community.

As for the festival, which derives its name from the young adult novel by Lois Duncan and explores the idea of ‘the horror within’, it aims to promote discussion around genre and gender by focusing on female directors working on genre films. At the same time, the festival also aims to highlight bold new work by independent filmmakers.

The festival features a shorts program, an awards night for the 48-Hour Tasploitaiton Challenge and the Tasmanian Gothic Script Challenge. It also includes a range of talks, workshops, panels and a number of free events, including Mary Shelley Symposium talks.

The Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival runs from August 21 to 24 in Hobart, Tasmania. For more info on the event and to book tickets head to the festival’s site.