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Streaming April 28-May 1st, 2023
On Filmocracy


Laos I 18 mins I Documentary I 2022 I Hmong

w/ English subtitles

Commissioned by Audible UK and Aesthetica Short Film Festival for The Listening Pitch 2022

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. 

About the Artist


Omi Gupta and Sparsh Ahuja are filmmakers based between London, Melbourne and New Delhi.


Their first collaboration, 'Child of Empire', a VR experience of the 1947 Partition of British India, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film opened to glowing reviews in The Economist, and was also the front page article of The Hindu weekend following Sundance.


Sparsh is lead producer on 'Lost Migrations', a series of three animated shorts on postcolonial South Asia. Omi has written one episode in this series, called ‘Seabirds’, which follows the story of the Tamil exodus from Burma following the Japanese occupation in the Second World War. Their work has exhibited at the BFI and V&A, London.





Writer/Director:       Omi Zola Gupta

                                  Sparsh Ahuja


Producer(s):             Omi Zola Gupta

                                 Sparsh Ahuja

                                 Dorn Bouttasing

Exec Producers:     Steve Melia

                                Cherie Federico

                                Lindsay Poulton (for The Guardian)

                                Jess Gormley (for The Guardian)

Line Producer:        Bounsoo Thor

Co-Producer:          Lao New Wave Cinema

DOP:                      Janamejaya Daroz



Contributors:          Neng Chue Vang 

                                 Neng Chi Lee

                                 Chia Por Lee

                                 Jong Sue Lee

                                 Li Her

Film Editor:           Giorgia Zarantonello

Translator:             Bounsoo Thor

                               Sinxay Thavixay

Colorist:                 Yash Soni

Designer:               Ollie Cameron

Sound Engineer:  Athidxay Boundaoheuang



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