Author: Leslie

LAS: Celebrating 10+ years of leadership for the community

On July 18, 2015, the Laotian American Society (LAS) hosted their 10th Annual Gala at the Premier Event Hall in Duluth, Georgia. The night featured authentic Lao cuisine, cultural performances, and live music and dancing. Judge Alvin Wong, the first Asian Pacific American to be elected judge in the Southeast United States, gave a moving keynote to the 400+ guests in attendance. Phone Phoummithone, a recognized Lao American singer, also flew in from Virginia to provide entertainment for the night. According to Amy Chomthakham, the current president of LAS, funds raised from the event will go directly to support current programs and scholarships. The programs range from Lao language and dance classes for the youth, and ESL and citizenship classes for the elders. Scholarships are awarded to students from kindergarten through college. Ultimately, all of the programs aim to empower the local Lao community. “It’s not about the money, really,” explains Chomthakham. “It’s about nam jai (showing kindness and generosity). It’s about seeing the kids smile and giving them the inspiration that they can do …

Phetmixay Means Fighter: Interview with Rita Phetmixay

What does it take to tell a personal story? Where do you even begin to capture life, loss, and new beginnings? And most importantly, how do you tell your family story? LLOTP sat down with Rita Phetmixay, UCLA graduate student and director of the 9-minute short documentary, Phetmixay Means Fighter, a recent feature at the Sacramento Asian Pacific American Film Festival (http://www.sapff.org/). The short film follows her father, Phouthone “Peter” Phetmixay, a former Lao rebel soldier, as he narrates his escape from his homeland of Laos. With no prior experience in filmmaking, Rita discusses what it’s like to capture and curate family histories for the big screen. “I think about myself. I was born in maybe wrong time, wrong country, but it’s okay. I’m still proud about that. I was an unlucky man… I tried to be an officer to serve my country. To protect my country. But I cannot. Because at that time I lost my country.” – Phouthone “Peter” Phetmixay, Phetmixay Means Fighter How did you decide to do a film on your dad’s story? When I was living …