MOVIES | Another milestone for Laotian Minnesota community as “In III Dragon” previews

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An 80 degree outside temperature with humidity, a smell of fresh popcorn, and crowded parking describe the scene at Riverview Theater, as nearly 600 people came to the release of the movie In III Dragon on Sunday, May 23, 2010 in Southeast Minneapolis. This film is by Lao Hollywood Home Entertainment, a Minnesotan company. 


The Riverview Theatre, which can accommodate up to 720 people, was swamped by people coming from all over Minnesota and the nearby states to the preview, and local streets for blocks all around were full of cars. The tickets which were sold out weeks in advance were used as raffle tickets after the film, and the winner walked away with a new home sound system. The cast was interviewed by local media before and after the showing, and all the while trying to hand out autographs.


The movie started at 12:30 p.m. after an opening speech by John Dickerson and Sonny Syonesa (Mario).


The movie is about the trials and growth of a Laotian Minnesotan Man named Khamsy and his American friend who calls him Mario. Back in Laos, as a child Mario ate a small piece of a burnt dragon’s heart which grew within him. Mario, unbeknownst to him that he possesses the dragon’s heart, is being watched by the Heart Keeper since that day. He struggles to fit in and seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The Heart Keeper tests him by conjuring up trouble everywhere Mario goes.  The more Mario fights and becomes a stronger fighter, the more powerful the dragon’s heart becomes.


At the end of his training in Laos, Mario returns to the United States of America as a new man with new strengths.


He goes to Kelly’s party and their love is re-ignited.  But their happiness doesn’t last long before Kelly’s recent exboyfriend, the Big Boss (Jason Konstad), uses her as bait to get to the dragon’s heart beating inside Mario.


Big Boss destroys everyone in his path and kidnaps Kelly.


The movie has many big names such as Big John Dickerson, Andy Fiedler (Strongest man in the world of Power Lifting, Mr. Minnesota 2005) and Greg Gagne (former AWA champion of the 80’s). As said by John Dickerson “the movie was a great success, and there are still two more parts.” And before the preview, almost the entire cast was there to entertain everyone, and talk about the movie. The movie has attracted so much attention that Hollywood movie producers sent a few scouters to view the film.


But the movie In III Dragon is so much more; it is another milestone for the whole Laotian community in Minnesota. It has been the first big picture since April, 2008 that a Laotian American Star/Director Thavisouk Phrasavath of The Betrayal (a 2008 Grammies nominee) walked a stage during the Minnesota Film Festival in Minneapolis.


In III Dragon is the first movie created by Lao Hollywood Home Entertainment, a Minnesotan company which has been the first company allowed to film within Laos. The movie features many parts of Laos, from the capital garden, the capital itself, and the countryside.


In III Dragon is scheduled to be released to the public on December 20, 2010. For more information and ticket sales, please visit www.asianpagescom.