This September, Lao American filmmaker Van Ditthavong’s debut feature film ALL ROADS TO PEARLA had its debut, and Little Laos on the Prairie recently interviewed him on his journey and what’s next for him, in addition to his advice for other emerging creators. You can see our complete interview here: https://vimeo.com/461977256
Van Ditthavong was born in Vientiane, Laos. His father had been studying for a master’s degree in Louisiana, and soon after his birth, his mother and older brothers went to the US to visit, while he stayed in Laos. The plan had been for him to reunite with his family when he was bigger. However, that did not happen because of the political turmoil in the country that included many being detained in re-education camps. He was separated from his parents for 3 years.
His aunt and uncle crossed the Mekong with him into Thailand. Recently his aunt told him that during their flight, the family in front of them stepped on a landmine. They were killed and Van Ditthavong’s family were lucky.
Eventually, he reunited with his parents on August 2, 1978 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of 4. He grew up outside of Washington D.C. and received his undergraduate degree in Business Management. His journey led him to still-photography, but he transitioned to film-making over the last ten years.
His debut, ALL ROADS TO PEARLA is a dark coming-of-age tale set in a small Texas town about a high school wrestler who gets entangled with a beautiful drifter and her psychopathic lover. Lives intertwine and spiral violently out of control when he becomes her escort driver and risks everything to save her.
“At its core the film is about Love and Pain and the consequences of our actions. To be able to partner with Gravitas and share ALL ROADS TO PEARLA with a wide audience is truly amazing. We are beyond thrilled and thankful for it all,” said Ditthavong.
The film is produced by Derek D. Brown, Red Sanders of Red Entertainment and Van Ditthavong of goPOP FILMS. It was released in select theaters and available on demand September 25. It had a world premiere at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. The crime thriller stars Alex MacNicoll (VICE, THE SOCIETY), Addison Timlin (LIKE ME, LITTLE SISTER), Corin Nemec (MARRIAGE OF LIES), Nick Chinlund (TRAINING DAY) and Dash Mihok (SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, RAY DONOVAN).
For more information you can visit allroadstopearla.com. All pictures courtesy of Van Ditthavong.