Born in Los Angeles to recent immigrant parents who left during the communist revolution in Laos, Mattie Do returned to Vientiane in 2010 with her husband and whippet to take care of her retired father. Noting that Lao-language films were scarce and that few featured strong female protagonists or stories, she became determined to make a feature film. At the time, Laos had no functioning filmmaking infrastructure and only one cinema in the capital city. Mattie uses horror and supernatural storytelling to convey messages about women’s roles and delicate social issues. In 2012, Mattie debuted her film, Chanthaly, at the Luang Prabang International Film Festival. The film has since become the first Lao film to screen at major festivals in America and Europe. Do’s second feature film Dearest Sister was chosen to attend the 2014 Cannes Film Festival as part of the La Fabrique des Cinémas du monde program and was selected as the Laotian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, the first time that Laos has submitted a film for consideration in this category. Do is the first Lao woman to direct a feature film. She has also produced Jamie M Dagg’s River (2015) and Bangkok Nites (2016) for director Katsuya Tomita, which competed for the Golden Leopard at Locarno International Film Festival.

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