The rare UK-Laos collaboration marks the feature directorial début of Josh Trigg, an established London-based fashion photographer and commercials director. Trigg wrote the screenplay, which won the best dramatic screenplay award at Houston International Film Festival. The story follows Satu, a 12-year-old boy, and Bo, a 17-year old girl, played by Itthiphone Saysana and Vanthiva Sasaysana, respectively. Together, they embark on a quest to find Satu’s mother, who was abandoned in a monastery as a baby. The film was shot in 16mm over 26 days in the Laos capital Vientiane and the mountains surrounding Vang Vieng. They also visited Pha Tang village, monastery, rivers in Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoy village, a remote village that can only be reached by boat. Goodwin, who is the former director of BFI Future Film Festival, is also the manager of BFI Film Academy Plus Fund. Lee Phongsavanh is the film’s Laos Producer. He is a filmmaker with credits including
Satu – Year Of The Rabbit was financed through private equity investors and co-produced with Lao New Wave Cinema Production, which serviced and facilitated the production on the ground after helping with development and a three-month casting process. The entire cast are non-professionals.Trigg brought with him James Chegwyn from the UK as his director of photography, and Emanuele Costantini to work on sound, but the remainder of the crew were locals. The filmmaker worked with Laos New Wave before on his commercials and used the same crew for the feature. They take care of each other. I hope children who can relate to the feeling of not knowing where they’re from will feel empowered by Satu’s journey. I hope children who can relate to Satu’s journey will feel empowered.