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Films inspired by missing flight MH370 touted at Cannes
by Staff Writers
Cannes, France (AFP) May 18, 2014


US offers condolences after Lao plane crash
Washington (AFP) May 18, 2014 - The United States offered its condolences Sunday after a Lao military plane crash that killed five senior officials on board, including the defense minister of the secretive communist nation.

The group was believed to be traveling to an official ceremony in the northeastern province of Xiangkhouang on an air force jet manufactured by Ukraine's Antonov.

"We are deeply saddened to hear the news of a plane crash in Laos, which claimed the lives of Lao government officials and others on board the flight," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the government of Laos," she added.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and with all the people of Laos at this difficult time."

Lao Defense Minister Douangchay Phichit was among five senior officials killed in the crash, the permanent secretary of the Thai defense ministry, Nipat Thonglek, told AFP.

The foreign ministry in Bangkok said about 20 people were on board.

Official Lao news agency KPL said authorities were trying to rescue survivors.

"The cause of accident is under the investigation," it said.

Two films inspired by the missing Malaysian Airlines' flight MH370 are being touted to buyers at the Cannes Film Festival, barely two months after the plane vanished with 239 people on board.

Potential buyers will get a sneak preview of "A Dark Reflection" by Fact Not Fiction Films at a "screening" on Monday, according to a full page advertisement in industry trade journal The Hollywood Reporter.

"What Happened on Flight 313?" reads the advertisement which appeared on Sunday and shows a woman silhouetted at the end of a runway.

The runway lights glow behind her while overhead a passenger jet looms in the darkness lit by two harsh white lights.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8.

Air and sea searches over vast stretches of the Indian Ocean have failed to find any sign of the plane.

Meanwhile, a half-page advertisement in the Reporter's Cannes edition on Thursday publicised another similar film.

The advertisement for "The Vanishing Act" featured a plane rising out of the clouds under the caption "The untold story of the missing Malaysian plane".

A 90-second teaser trailer showing terrified passengers and a gun being brandished was shot over six days in Bombay, Variety said in a report.

It is being promoted by Indian film director Rupesh Paul, the man behind erotic movie "Kamasutra 3D", and was presented to buyers in Cannes on Saturday.

Paul, who denied the film was insensitive so soon after the disappearance, said he began work on the project after being contacted by a Malaysian journalist who said he had a theory about what had happened.

He then spent 20 days working on a screenplay using the journalist's idea for the ending, the report added.

The film-maker said he was confident he could make the movie work even if the wreckage of the plane was found.

People had suggested to him that his investment would be wasted if the plane was found and the explanation put forward by his film turned out to be incorrect, he said.

"That's the biggest challenge I'm facing.... Everyone in the world, they want to know what happened," he was quoted as saying.

In addition to being the world's biggest film festival, Cannes is also a huge film market and each year attracts over 10,000 buyers and sellers from around the world.

It was not known whether the "screening" of "A Dark Reflection" would be of a full or part-completed film, or another trailer.

MH370 has been missing ever since it mysteriously diverted from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route.

It is believed to have crashed into the sea far off Australia's west coast.

Australia, which is leading the hunt in the ocean far off its west coast, has said it believes it is looking in the right area based on satellite communications from the plane.

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