Monday, November 1, 2010

Bangkok Cinema Scene special: 8th World Film Festival of Bangkok, November 5-14, 2010

The 8th World Film Festival of Bangkok introduces around 150 movies from around the world from November 5 to 14 at Paragon Cineplex and Major Cineplex Sukhumvit (Ekamai).

French post-New-Wave director Jacques Doillon and Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan are among the major figures attending.

The Thai indie film Eternity (Tee Rak) will be the opener.

Kriengsak “Victor” Silakong, director of the World Film Festival of Bangkok (WFFBKK), says the movies will be shown in nine sections: Asian Contemporary; Cinema Beat; Cine Latino; Doc Feast; Short Wave; Guts Nouveau; Music & Dance a la Carte, New Turkish Cinema and Retrospective.

There are several “must-see” movies in the festival, including Insects in the Backyard, the debut feature by indie director Tanwarin Sukhapisit, which premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival. It’ll make its Thai premiere at the WFFBKK.

Others are Red Dragonflies from Singapore, which has been awarded at many film festivals; The Well, a coming-of-age drama from India; Au Revoir Taipei, a new romantic comedy from Taiwan; Cold Water of the Sea from Costa Rica, which won a Tiger Award at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam; The Famous and the Dead, a new teenage flick from Brazil; Curling from Canada, winner of two awards at the Locarno film festival this year; and A Film Unfinished, Yael Hersonski's powerful documentary that portrays people behind and before the camera in the Warsaw Ghetto during Nazi occupation in World War II.

Friday night's opening film Eternity (Tee Rak) by Sivaroj Kongsakul, represents the new blood of Thai independent cinema. His first feature explores the three stages of a man’s life, from his romance as a young man to the woman who will be his wife, then as a ghost wandering his childhood home and finally as a void in the lives of those he left behind. It’s a tribute to his father, who died when Sivaroj was a child.

Sivaroj is well known in Thailand’s independent cinema scene. His short films Always and Silencio have won prizes in various film festivals. He has worked as an assistant director for Aditya Assarat, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang and Wisit Sasanatieng. Eternity (Tee Rak) premiered in the New Currents competition at the 2010 Pusan International Film Festival, and the World Film Festival of Bangkok hosts the movie’s Thai premiere.

The festival’s prestigious Lotus Award this year will be given to Nuri Bilge Ceylan, one of the most important filmmakers from Turkey. He's expected to be in attendance on opening night and for the screening of Three Monkeys.

Invitation only, the opening ceremony of the 8th World Film Festival of Bangkok will be held in the Infinity Hall of Paragon Cineplex on 5 November, 2010, at 6pm.

French director Jacques Doillon will be praised in the Retrospective section. He will attend the festival to present five of his movies: Touched in the Head (1974), The Little Gangster (1990), Ponette (1996), Just Anybody (2008) and The Three Way Wedding (2010) as well as a documentary about his life and works: Jacques Doillon – Words and Emotion (1998) by Anne Brochet and Françoise Dumas. This is a rare chance for Bangkok audiences to watch Doillon's films and meet the director.

He'll also give a workshop at the Alliance Française on Thursday, November 4 from 3 to 5.

With support from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Tourism of Turkey and Turkish Airlines, the festival presents New Turkish Cinema, a section that focuses on five outstanding contemporary Turkish films: Envy by Zeki Demirkubuz, Kosmos by Reha Erdem , Vavien by Durul Taylan and Yagmur Taylan, Wrong Rosary by Mahmut Fazil Coskun and Honey by Semih Klaplanoglu.

Another exciting part of the WFFBKK is the poster competition. We received so many great poster designs and many of them are full of creative ideas.

As with past years, the closing celebration will have a “Celebrity Look Alike” competition. This year, with generous support by Thai Life Insurance, there will be the special theme “Vampire Party”, with participants urged to come dressed as their favorite spook. Get ready for the fun on Saturday, November 13 2010, from 6pm onward. There will then be the closing film, 2001's Love Bites from France.

The 8th World Film Festival of Bangkok will be held at Paragon Cineplex and Major Cineplex Sukhumvit (Ekamai) from November 5 to 14.

Most of the 35mm films will unspool at Major Ekamai, while the digital projections and screenings with special guests will be at Paragon.

Tickets are Bt100 and Bt50 for students.

You can download the schedule from the festival website.

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