Monday, July 4, 2011

Bangkok Cinema Scene special: European Union Film Festival in Thailand 2011

The European Union Film Festival marks 20 years in Thailand this year, with a line-up of 22 movies from 16 countries.

There are children's films, thrillers, fact-based historical dramas, romance, comedies and even a documentary.

Highlights include the U.K. documentary Exit through the Giftshop, about the shadowy grafitti artist Banksy. There's also The Escape, a Danish thriller about a journalist's life in peril in Afghanistan, the award-winning Finnish coming-of-age drama Forbidden Fruit, two much-acclaimed Spanish dramas, Camino and Cell 211, and several fact-based historical dramas, including the Dutch ice-skating drama, The Hell of '63. Children's films are Poland's award-winning The Tree of Life and the Czech teddy-bear tale Kooky

The fest runs from July 7 to 17, and just like last year's event, it will be held at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre in the first-floor auditorium. All screenings are on DVD in their original soundtracks with English subtitles. Showtimes start in the afternoons daily except Mondays, when the BACC is closed. Admission is free.

In celebration of the EU Film Festival's 20 years in Thailand, there will be musical performances on the closing weekend of July 16 and 17. The fest moves to Chiang Mai's Vista Kad Suan Kaew from July 22 to 31.

Find out more details on the festival's Facebook page.

Here's the line-up:

Bánk Bán (Hungary, 2002) – In 13th century Hungary, the king is fighting abroad while his German-born queen plays host to courtly feasts. Meanwhile, the king's deputy tours the poverty-ridden country while the queen's brother tries to seduce the deputy's wife. A group of nobles, anxious for the fate of their homeland and the honour of deputy's wife, plot a conspiracy against the queen. Thursday, July 7, 1pm and Sunday, July 10, 5.05pm.

Erratum (Poland, 2010) – A young man who years ago left his hometown, has built up a comfortable life for himself in the big city. When work takes him back to his hometown, he hopes to avoid seeing any of his old acquaintences, but a car wrekc thwarts those plans. And investigation ensues, and he must confront the choices he's made. Thursday, July 7, 3.10pm and Thursday, July 14, 5.45pm.

Camino (Spain, 2008) – An 11-year-old girl must simultaneously face two completely new events in her life – falling in love and dying. This fact-based drama is a winner of nominee of multiple awards, including Best Actress, Best Director and Best Film at the "Spanish Oscars", the Goya Awards. Thursday, July 7, 4.55pm and Saturday, July 9, 6.10pm

The Escape (Flugten, Denmark, 2009) – A journalist is taken hostage in Afghanistan, but she manages to escape. Back home in Denmark, her career takes flight. Then her one of her former captors makes his escape and comes to Denmark seeking her help. Thursday, July 7, 7.20pm and Sunday, July 10, 1.10pm.

With Friends Like These (Dagen zonder lief , Belgium, 2007) – A young woman returns to her Belgian hometown after some years away in New York City and is dismayed to find her friends have changed. Friday, July 8, 2pm and Sunday, July 10, 3.15pm.

Above The Street, Below The Water (Over gaden under vandet, Denmark, 2009) – A Copenhagen couple's seemingly happy marriage is put to the test when the husband decides he wants to take a break. Friday, July 8, 3.50pm and Wednesday, July 13, 7.10pm.

The Last Pulcinella (L'ultimo Pulcinella, Italy, 2009) – An unemployed actor is forced to leave Naples with his son after he witnesses a mafia killing. In Paris, he meets an actress who owns a theatre. Together they try to stage a play about the traditional Neapolitan character of Pulcinella. Friday, July 8, 5.40pm and Friday, July 15, 2pm.

When We Leave (Die Fremde, Germany, 2010) – A young woman of Turkish descent, fighting for an independent and self-determined life against the resistance of her family, finds herself in a life-threatening situation. Friday, July 8, 7.20pm and Sunday, July 17, 2.45pm.

Kooky (Kuky se vrací, Czech Republic, 2010) – An ailing six-year-old boy is forced to part with his mouldering pink teddy bear. The discarded stuffed animal then makes his way into a mysterious forest for an adventure against evil forces. Saturday, July 9, 11.30am and Sunday, July 17, 11am.

Weekend With My Mother (Weekend cu mama, Romania, 2009) – A woman who 15 years before left Romania for a fresh start in Spain, leaving behind her 3-year-old daughter, is dismayed to learn the now-teenage girl is a drug addict with a 2-year-old daughter in an orphanage. Overwhelmed by guilt, the woman attempts to save her daughter and redeem the mistakes of her youth. Saturday, July 9, 1.15pm and Friday, July 15, 7.30pm.

Assault on the Santa Maria (Assalto ao Santa Maria, Portugal, 2010) – This fact-based historical drama about Operation Dulcinea is set during 1960, when a young emigrant joins a group of opposition movement members in the seizure of the South America-bound Santa Maria cruise ship in a bid to bring attention to the fascist regimes in Portugal and Spain. Saturday, July 9, 2.55pm.

The Hell of '63 (De hel van '63, Netherlands, 2010) – This fact-based sports drama is about the Elfstedentocht, the world's largest and longest speed skating competition that is held irregularly in Friesland in the northern Netherlands. In 1963, thousands of skaters competed in the 200-kilometer race, but only a few crossed the finish line. Saturday, July 9, 4.10pm and Tuesday, July 12, 4.45pm.

The Magic Tree (Magiczne drzewo, Poland, 2009) – A red chair, made out of wood from a magical oak tree, leads children on a fantastic adventure. Winner of several film-festival awards, including the Chicago International Children's Film Festival and the BAMkids Film Festival, New York. Sunday, July 10, 11.30am and
Saturday, July 16, 11am.

The 1,000 Euros Generation (Generazione mille euro, Italy, 2009) – A young man working in the marketing department of a company learns his firm is being "reorganised". The arrivals of a new female colleague and a female housemate lead to an comical series of trials and tribulations. Sunday, July 10, 7.10pm and Wednesday, July 13, 2pm.

The Paper Will Be Blue (Hîrtia va fi albastrã, Romania, 2006) – This fact-based historical drama is set during the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and focuses on a young militiaman who escapes from his unit in hopes of joining the rebels. An officer assembles a patrol to hunt down the deserter, while nervous citizens watch history unfolding on their television sets. Tuesday, July 12, 3pm and Friday, July 15, 3.40pm.

Run If You Can (Renn, wenn Du kannst, Germany, 2009) – A wheelchair-bound young man and his caretaker fall for the same woman, a cellist who is working to finish her music degree. Tuesday, July 12, 6.45pm and Saturday, July 16, 4.15pm.

Cell 211 (Celda 211, Spain, 2009) – A rookie prison guard finds himself in the midst of a riot after an unforeseen turn of events. With the inmates around him unaware of his position, he must pretend to be a prisoner to survive. A winner of multiple awards, including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Film at the "Spanish Oscars", the Goya Awards. Wednesday, July 13, 3.40pm and Friday, July 15, 5.25pm.

An Ordinary Execution (Une exécution ordinaire , France, 2010) – A young urologist practicing in a Moscow hospital in the 1950s desperately tries to get pregnant from her husband, a disillusioned physician. Meanwhile, the doctor, to her horror, is assigned to treat Stalin. Wednesday, July 13, 5.15 and Saturday, July 16, 2.20pm.

The Wedding Photographer (Bröllopsfotografen, Sweden, 2009) – When the factory in his hometown shuts down, a young man decides to try his luck in Stockholm as a wedding photographer. Thursday, July 14, 2pm and Sunday, July 17, 12.45pm.

Exit through the Giftshop (United Kingdom, 2010) – Eccentric French-born Los Angeles thrift-shop owner Thierry Guetta attempts to capture one of the world's most elusive graffiti artists and pranksters – Banksy – with wildly unexpected results. Critical reception is wildly positive. Thursday, July 14, 7.30pm and Saturday, July 16, 7.25pm.

Dust (Luxembourg, 2009) – Teenage twin siblings survive in a post-apocalyptic world in a secluded mansion left by their parents. They lead a quiet and simple life, growing their own food, swimming in a nearby lake, reading and playing chess. With the unexpected arrival of a young man throws their harmonic life into disarray. Thursday, July 14, 4pm and Saturday, July 16, 12.40pm.

Forbidden Fruit (Kielletty hedelmä, Finland, 2009) – A pair of 18-year-old girls from a restrictive Christian order are on their summer break and go to Helsinki for the first time. One of the girls wants to cut loose and experience life before getting married while the other only wants to make sure they return safe. By the end of the summer, one of them will be changed for good. An award-winner and nominee at several film festivals. Sunday, July 17, 5.30pm.


  1. I put the festival on a calendar:

    Here's the script:

  2. They were very great films, especially L'ultimo Pulcinella (2008), Camino, and Kooky. Watched them in Chiang Mai and have been since wondering if they are available to buy here in Thailand. Could you please tell me WHERE or HOW I can buy the DVDs?

    I am a fan right now and studying filmmaking. Please let me know.
    Thank you so very much,
    SK (