About this submission

Birdsong explores the dying whistling traditions of the Hmong people of northern Laos, whose sonic exchanges straddle the boundary between music and speech. The film follows the personal stories of three individuals from Long Lan village, as they reflect on their experience as practitioners of a vanishing musical language.

Birdsong portrays the collision of an ancient linguistic practice with the modern condition of urban life in Laos. The film explores how listening can change our perception of both society and nature, offering a glimpse into the philosophical relationship between sound and reality.

Omi Zola Gupta
Omi Zola Gupta is a writer and director living and working between the UK and India. He works across narrative, documentary, and experimental modes of filmmaking. His first involvement in film included writing Child of Empire, a VR docufiction that had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2022. His work has exhibited at the BFI and the V&A, London. His first short documentary, Birdsong, premiered at SXSW Film Festival 2023, and is set to release with The Guardian in the fall of 2023.

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