Episode 49- The Horror Queen of Laos: Mattie Do and Dearest Sister

If you are a victim or have been affected by sexual assault, you are not alone. You are loved, you are supported, you are believed. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has set up a National Sexual Assault Hotline; available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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For more information, check the RAINN website-
https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

There’s been a lot said over the past few weeks about some of the brands that we have traditionally supported on the show, specifically Fantastic Fest and The Alamo Drafthouse. Recently criticism has been focused at Alamo Drafthouse, Fantastic Fest, and Drafthouse founder/C.E.O. Tim League, regarding the firing and rehiring of a Drafthouse employee who had been accused of sexual assault. While we felt it was important to address this controversy and discuss our feelings, we did want to avoid granular exploration of the details. As a matter of fact, several allegations against former Drafthouse associate and AIN’T IT COOL NEWS founder, Harry Knowles, have surfaced even after we first put this episode “on Memorex.”

The fact of the matter is, beyond the conversation that’s being had online and in the media, the most important part of that conversation was happening in Austin, Texas this week, during Fantastic Fest. As we had made the decision to not attend (long before the controversy), this is a conversation that is still being had and is one that we aren’t yet privy to. In that vein if the specifics of the controversy interest you, we’d like to direct your attention to the WOMEN IN CASKETS podcast. Friends of the NIGHTHAWKS, Jen and Dawn are the eponymous WOMEN IN CASKETS and they bring their perspective to genre film, episode after episode. This week the WOMEN IN CASKETS crew are front and center at Fantastic Fest, and they’re offering a great perspective from the ground level of both the festival and the controversy.

However let us make one thing perfectly clear: We do not condone sexual assault under any circumstances, full stop.

Meanwhile, the real thrust of this episode is to give due attention to one of the shining lights of Fantastic Fest in years past. Mattie Do is not only remarkable for being the only female genre filmmaker in Laos, nor is she simply the only female filmmaker in Laos, period. Mattie is an effervescent tour de force of personality, who’s artistry and passion have treated her well as a filmmaker. She is a major keystone in the building of a film scene in Laos, and has recently begun on the path to a possible Oscar nomination.

Variety recently said that Do was regarded as “one of Asia’s hottest new film-making talents.”

Do’s latest film DEAREST SISTER, our topic tonight, played Fantastic Fest 2016. Do’s other directed film, CHANTHALY also played Fantastic Fest, as did RIVER- a Laos-set thriller on which Do served as a producer. Following a release on the streaming service SHUDDER in early 2017, DEAREST SISTER was submitted by the country of Laos for consideration in the “Best Foreign Language Film” category at the Academy Awards. This is the first Lao submission in the country’s history.

Full disclosure, Mattie is a friend of the podcast, and when we heard the news that she was being submitted for an Oscar nomination, we knew we’d be getting into an episode on DEAREST SISTER, soon enough. While the road to nomination is long and full of pitfalls, and the road to a win even longer, we certainly wish Mattie the best of luck in the coming months. We’re very excited to see this film get some recognition.

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