Set against the lush backdrop of rural Laos, this spirited drama tells the story of scrappy ten-year-old Ahlo, who yearns to break free from his ill-fated destiny. After his village is displaced to make way for a massive dam, Ahlo escapes with his father and grandmother through the Laotian outback in search of a new home. Along the way, they come across a rocket festival that offers a lucrative—but dangerous—chance for a new beginning. With the help of his new friend Kia and her eccentric, James Brown-loving uncle, Ahlo sets out to build his own rocket, enter the contest and prove his worth to his family.
Australian filmmaker Kim Mordaunt—whose documentary Bomb Harvest investigated Laos’s status as the most bombed country in the world—returned to make this fable-like drama, one of its first internationally released feature films. The Rocket’s characters, mostly played by non-professional actors, embody the spirit of resilience and hope born out of a country affected by a legacy of war and undergoing a great economic change.
Length: 96 minutes
Premiere: North American
Director: Kim Mordaunt
Screenwriter: Kim Mordaunt
Producer: Sylvia Wilczynski
Editor: Nick Meyers
Associate Producer: Pauline Phayvanh Phoumindr
Cinematographer: Andrew Commis
Executive Producer: Bridget Ikin, Michael Wrenn, Triphet Rookachat
Composer: Caitlin Yeo
Cast: Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam, Bunsri Yindi, Sumrit Warin, Alice Kohavong
KIM MORDAUNT is a graduate of the University of Technology Sydney and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and has lived and worked throughout Southeast Asia. His latest film, the documentary feature Bomb Harvest, screened at over twenty international festivals to wide acclaim. The Rocket is his fiction feature debut.