Friday, July 30, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene special: Bangkok IndieFest, August 6-8, 2010

The first Bangkok Indiefest is set for August 6 to 8 at HOF Art, about a three-minute walk from Ratchadapisek MRT station on Ratchadapisek Road.

Produced by Camerado Southeast Asia in association with Location Thailand, Bangkok IndieFest promises to be "a cross-cultural cinematic showcase of compelling non-mainstream independent films and videos from Thailand and the rest of the world."

The lineup (PDF) has around 80 features and shorts. The selection includes new international features, documentaries, animation, mockumentaries, underground cinema, "midnight movies", bad sci-fi, music movies, rock docs and "edutainment movies", as well as new independent Thai movies and videos.

The fest opens on Friday (PDF) at 1 with a package of short docs. Among them is Bye Bye Now, a bittersweet tribute to the disappearing Irish phone box. There's also 10 Years to Nashville, about a pair of Polish ladies wanting to visit Music City, USA. And of regional interest is Keeping Them Safe, about a young woman who works in a Cambodian karaoke bar having to make tough choices.

Short Docs II starts at 5 and includes Wander Cinema by Panu Saeng-xuto, which goes behind the scenes of Thailand's mobile cinema operators. There will also be The Last Elephants in Thailand, a documentary by Donald Tayloe and Michelle Mizner on the sad welfare of Thailand's pachyderms.

Animation starts at 9 on Friday with more than a dozen animated shorts. Australian artist and animator Peter Allen, the director of the flipbook animated Flip and The Cockrel's Egg, will be present.

Those are all in the Main Room. There's also a Sidebar Screen, which will be showing features and have intervals for an Open Movie Jam, in which filmmakers are invited to screen any short (within reason) that's under 10 minutes.

Sidebar features on Friday are the Spanish immigrants tale Sombras with director Oriol Canals in attendance; 34th and Park, about a film professor who decides to live as a beggar; director Cameron Pearson will be in attendance; Australian photojournalist David Bradbury's love affair with the lens and Asia in My Asian Heart and the horror comedy Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead.

Saturday's screenings (PDF) start at 11.30 with Shorts I. Among them are Drown by Nottapon Boonprakob and Kamikire Ichimai, with director Momi Yamashita attending.

Shorts II starts at 3.15 and includes Takeo, about a threatening stranger showing up at a mother's door, with director Omar Samad in attendance. Also showing will be La Lampadina by Thai Pradithkesorn and Song of the River by Krissada Tipchaimeta, about a new park ranger having to close his park to fishing.

Very Short Movies starts at 7 on Saturday, with 15 short films screening in under 90 minutes.

The Sidebar on Saturday has the features World Vote Now by Joel B. Marsden and East Planet by Hiroshi Toda, and Mørke Sjeler by César Ducasseas well as a repeat of the Animation program.

Area 51 closes the Saturday screening, with experimental shorts, among them Wet Nana Dreamscape, a composite-photo montage of a young man finding "double happiness" at Soi Cowboy. Director Jimmie Wing and the electronic-music soundtrack composer Lim Giong will be in attendance.

Sunday's program (PDF) has a repeat of the Short Docs and Short Docs II shows, the Very Short Movies and Area 51 in the Main Room. Shorts I and Shorts II will screen in the Sidebar. Also in the Sidebar on Sunday are the features Retour au Pays des Ames (Return to the Land of Souls), a documentary on animistic rites and contemporary African society by Jordi Esteva and Die Entbehrlichen (The Dispensibles) by Andreas Arnstedt, about a boy who hides his father's suicide so he won't be sent to an orphanage.

Each night will end in time for viewers to catch the last MRT train.

There's also an audience-award vote, with ballots handed out for each category.

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