The H’mong Love Market Documentary

[two_col]Long time ago, in a remote, mountainous H’mong village there were two lovers. They desperately wanted to be together but their families disapproved of their love forcing them to marry others. Helpless, and vowing their continuing love to each other, the two agreed to meet once a year for a day to spend time together.[/two_col][two_col_last]Following their lead, many ethnic minority couples now attend the Khau Vai love market, for one day every year, seeking out their past lovers, hoping to reunite with the ones they never got the chance to be with.[/two_col_last]

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Just wanted to post a quick update!  Only a few hours ago, I launched a crowd funding campaign greatly hoping that I can raise the necessary finishing funds to wrap up post production on this project!  If you liked my past work (and even if you didn’t but want to help me make a new, exciting film!), please check out the below fundraising campaign!

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[two_col_last]Please don’t just be a passive viewer!  Please take action to help this film come to live!  Even the smallest donation makes a difference – not only allowing me to finish the film, but also directly benefiting the poorest of the Vietnamese ethnic minorities through a unique rewards program!

  • Please Donate!  Any, even the smallest amount helps!
  • Please Share!  Don’t only share the link within your social networks, but really tell people within your online and real-life networks about this film and please encourage them to help! – that’s the link you want to share.  “Igg Me At Love Market” – repeat it a few times (it gets funnier) – now that you got it memorized – go and help me spread the buzz!

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This project can only happen with my viewers’ help!  Thanks ahead![/two_col_last]


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(Nov. 19th, 2013)

This is a new feature documentary project I’ve been working on.  I’ve never really been a documentary filmmaker (i get too frustrated with constantly changing reality!  I much prefer making fiction!) but after the success of Land of Whispers I thought I’d try to make another doc, especially as I’ve been quite interested in the Love Market event for some time and it’s a cultural event largely unknown to the outside world.  Unlike the love market in Sapa which nowadays is just a boring tourist attraction with overpriced Chinese souvenirs, the Khau Vai love market is regarded as being the original, and still much more authentic, in part because it’s so remote – located in Vietnam’s Ha Giang Province (one of Vietnam’s poorest), near the border with China, where visitors still require permits and where reaching certain villages requires trekking through the muddy mountains.

I shot the film in May.  My summer was quite busy working on a pretty big TVC and then finishing a new feature script in time for the Sundance Labs deadline.  Now, I’m finally sitting down and starting post production on the project.  I gotta say – it’s a huge job.  I’ve been procrastinating a lot.  I have some 300GB if not more of footage, i have almost 15 interviews, most in rare languages which i don’t speak and most people likely haven’t even heard of.  Unlike Land of Whispers, I want this film to show less of me and more of the story, hopefully narrated much more by locals themselves than me.

Just yesterday, I handed off the last batch of interviews to my translator.  I should be getting them back within a week or so, at which time I will need to force myself to sit and work.  My goal is to cut together a small project trailer within the next few weeks.  Then I will use that trailer to beg and plead for some finishing funds – I urgently need about $3,500 to finish the film – need to go back to re-shoot one of the interviews, need to pay for additional translations and need to get original music composed.  It’s not a huge amount, so I’m hoping for the best.  Then once I get the funds, I’ll work hard on finalizing the film and hopefully i’ll be able to release it around February/March 2014.

The initial goal has been to make it available for free, online, but because of the widespread abuse I’ve faced with some recent work, I’m beginning to debate if that’s in fact the right move.  There’s still some time, I’ll have to figure out the best way to distribute the film.  Money is not my motivator, and while I always appreciate donations (because the workload is really quite intense), I also want to make sure that everyone who’d like to see my film gets to see it, regardless of whether they want to pay for it or not.

Anyways.  I think I’ve lost my original thought.  I’ll post again when i have some more relevant updates.

In the meantime, check out the facebook album with some of the production stills: