Van Ditthavong was born in Vientiane, Laos and immigrated to the United States when he was 4-years-old. He began his career as an award-winning still photographer before transitioning to filmmaking. 


His short films have been screened at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, The Independent Filmmakers Showcase, The Atlanta Shortsfest, and The Pasadena International Film Festival. His work has been commissioned by Nokia, Men’s Health, Newsweek, AARP, Guitar World, Texas Monthly, Smart Money, TV Guide, Psychology Today, American Way and other national magazines. Van has taught at the New York Film Academy (Los Angeles) and still teaches at UCLA Extension – where he received the 2015 Outstanding Instructor of the Year honor for the Visual Arts Department.

SLEEPING IN PLASTIC (starring Alex MacNicoll, Addison Timlin, Nick Chinlund, and Dash Mihok) and produced by Red Entertainment and goPOP FILMS is his feature directing debut.

Princ Films Boards Sales on Crime Drama Thriller “Sleeping in Plastic” – Cannes

Princ Films will handle worldwide sales on award-winning photographer and filmmaker Van Ditthavong’s feature directorial debut “Sleeping in Plastic” at the Cannes Marché which starts this week. The film stars Alex MacNicoll (“Vice”, “The Society”), Addison Timlin (“Like Me”, “Little Sister”), Corin Nemec (“Marriage of Lies”), Nick Chinlund (“Training Day”) and Dash Mihok (“Silver Linings Playbook”, “Ray Donovan”). The film is produced by Red Sanders and Derek D. Brown of Red Entertainment along with Ditthavong of goPOP FILMS, and executive produced by Igor Princ of Princ Films.

2019 Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2nd Round

Feature-length script JESSE GARON selected for the second round of consideration for the Sundance Institute’s 2019 Development Track which includes: Sundance Screenwriters Lab, Sundance Screenwriters Intensive, Sundance Institute Asian American Fellowship, and Film-Two Initiative.

Gold Coast Film Festival - Australia

Official Selection (short film: This is Dominica) – Commonwealth Stories on Screen

Sleeping in Plastic

Van begins production of his first feature film SLEEPING IN PLASTIC in Oklahoma. Starring Alex MacNicoll (Netflix’s Society, Transparent), Addison Timlin (Californication, Little Sister), Nick Chinlund (Training Day) and Dash Mihok (Showtime’s Ray Donovan)

Brave New Films

Story Producer & Cinematographer for Brave New Films producing short documentaries and videos about social justice issues.


Van receives the Outstanding Instructor of the Year for the Visual Arts Department award – UCLA Extension

Nokia Lumia Icon Film Challenge


Dominica Film Challenge


19th Annual Independent Filmmakers Showcase Film Festival

Winner Best Independent Short Film (short film: You’re There in the Sun Let Go)

Pasadena International Film Festival

Official Selection (short film: You’re There in the Sun Let Go)

Atlanta Shortsfest

Official Selection + Winner Best Dramedy (short film: Milk & all the wrong things)

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Official Selection (short film: Balloons Go Pop)

Independent Filmmakers Showcase

Honorable Mention for Directing (short film: Balloons Go Pop)

International Photography Awards

Honorable Mention – portraiture

Polaris Project Fellowship

(Washington D.C. non-profit organization dedicated to combating Human Trafficking) – New Media and Communications 2010 Summer Fellow.  The Fellowship Program is nationally recognized as one of the premiere leadership programs exclusively focused on the issue of human trafficking and on providing young professionals with training on-the-ground practical experiences in the anti-trafficking movement.

International Photography Awards

2 Honorable Mentions – family portraiture & editorial sports

Px3 – Prix de la Photographie, Paris Photography Competition

Honorable Mention – portrait/culture category