Friday, March 27, 2015

Bangkok Critics award Tukkae Rak Pang Mak

Producer Adirek "Uncle" Watleela takes the microphone to accept the best film award for Tukkae Rak Pang Mak. He also took the stage to accept awards for his friend Yuthlert Sippapak. Nation photo by Tatchadon Panyaphanitkul.

The nostalgic romantic comedy Tukkae Rak Pang Mak (Chiang Khan Story) took the top prizes at the 23rd Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards (ชมรมวิจารณ์บันเทิง) on Wednesday night, winning trophies for Best Film, director, screenplay and acting.

While writer-director Yuthlert Sippapak wasn't on hand to accept his awards, the team of producers from the new shingle Transformation Films was there, among them Yuthlert's long-time collaborator, producer Adirek "Uncle" Watleela.

Released last September, Tukkae Rak Pang Mak chronicled the 20 or so years in the rocky romance of childhood friends in Chiang Khan, the rustic town on the Mekong River in Northeast Thailand's Loei province, where Yuthlert calls home. It was the first release from Transformation, which is a partnership between the producers behind the former Film Bangkok marque and Major Cineplex, Thailand's biggest multiplex operator. It performed only modestly at the box office, so the awards haul was welcomed by the Transformation team.

The actor who played Tukkae, Jirayu La-ongmanee, a former child star, repeated his success from the Thai film industry's "Oscars", the Subhanahongsa Awards. He won the prize for best actor for his portrayal of a young filmmaker who is named after a house lizard. He faces an awkward situation when his first screenplay is to be made into a movie, and producers want his former childhood crush to be the star. But she and Tukkae had a big misunderstanding.

Jirayu's co-star Kongkiat Komsiri was named best supporting actor for his turn as Tukkae's level-headed best friend. Though Kongkiat has appeared on screen before, he's better known as a director of gritty movies like Slice and Muay Thai Chaiya. Hopefully his next one, the historical action drama Khun Pan (ขุน พันธ์ ), will actually be released this year.

Another big winner was Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit's The Master, a documentary about the enigmatic Bangkok movie pirate Mr. Van, whose bootleg videos provided a generation of Thai filmmakers and critics with an education in world cinema in the days before bitorrent downloads. A colorful array of prominent directors and movie critics appear in the film, sharing their memories of Van VDO in talking-head interviews against a simple backdrop. It was named best documentary and was also awarded for film editing.

Another documentary, Nontawat Numbenchapol's By the River, about a Karen village left devastated by lead mining, won for its original score by Karen musicians.

And the GTH studio's hit romantic drama The Teacher's Diary (คิดถึงวิทยา, Kid Tueng Wittaya) took two prizes, for cinematography and art direction.

With nods in nearly every category, the leading nominee was Lee Chatametikool's 1997-set drama Concrete Clouds (ภวังค์รัก, Phawang Rak), which took the top prizes at the Subhanahongsa Awards. At the Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards, it ended up with just one trophy, for best supporting actress for Apinya Sakuljaroensuk.

Lee was also among the nominees for the Critics Young Filmmaker Awards, which were introduced last year. Perhaps the Bangkok Critics were confused, since Concrete Clouds was Lee's first feature as a director, and while he's still a relatively young man, he's been overseeing award-winning editing and post-production for indie and commercial features in Bangkok for more than a decade.

Other Young Filmmaker nominees included Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul, director of Mother, Chonlasit Upanigkit, director of W., and Krisada Tipchaimeta who made Somboon, all first features from rookie filmmakers. The prize went to Uten Sririvi and Jinnaphat Ladarat, who made the indie country comedy Phoobao Thai Baan E-San Indy (ผู้บ่าวไทบ้าน อีสานอินดี้, or simply PBTB), which caused something of a stir when it was first turned down by Bangkok multiplex operators but became a box-office hit in Thailand's rural Northeast.

There's more on the ceremony in a story in The Nation today.


  • Best Film: Tukkae Rak Pang Mak (Chiang Khan Story).
  • Director: Yuthlert Sippapak, Chiang Khan Story
  • Screenplay: Yuthlert Sippapak, Chiang Khan Love Story
  • Actor: Jirayu La-ongmanee, Chiang Khan Story
  • Actress: Sucha Manaying, The Couple (รัก ลวง หลอน, Rak Luang Lon)
  • Supporting actor: Kongkiat Komesiri,  Chiang Khan Story
  • Supporting actress: Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Concrete Clouds
  • Cinematography: Narupon Chokkanapitak, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Film editing: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, The Master
  • Original song: “Jaikhwam Samkhan” by the Musketeer, from Rak Mod Kaew (รักหมดแก้ว, a.k.a. Love on the Rock)
  • Original score: By the River
  • Art direction: Akradej Kaewkote, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Best documentary: The Master
  • Young Filmmaker Award: Uten Sririvi, Jinnaphat Ladarat, Phoobao Thai Baan: E-San Indy
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Somsak Techaratanaprasert, producer, and Amara Asavanond, actress
  • Box Office Award: I Fine ... Thank You ... Love You

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Indie filmmakers recruited to tutor Bangkok, Jakarta academy sessions


Mofilm, the outfit that puts on short-film contests worldwide and serves as an online social network for filmmakers, has recruited guest tutors for the upcoming sessions of the Academy for Southeast Asian Filmmakers.

Set for Jakarta from May 11 to 13 and Bangkok from May 15 to 18, Mofilm's Academy for Southeast Asian Filmmakers has tapped established local indie film talents.

In Jakarta, the sessions will be led by director Mouly Surya (What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love, Fiksi) and Sheila Timothy, a producer whose credits include a pair of far-out freak-outs by Joko Anwar, Pintu Terlarang (The Forbidden Door) and Modus Anomali (Ritual).

Bangkok's sessions will have writer-director Kongdej Jaturanrasmee (Tang Wong, So Be It) and producer-director Pimpaka Towira (The Truth Be Told: The Cases Against Supinya Klangnarong, The Songs of Rice).

Other big names are expected to follow. Meanwhile, the March 31 deadline for applications is fast approaching. Check it out at mofilm.com/ASAF.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I Fine ... Thank You ... Love You takes two prizes at Osaka

Last year's No. 1 movie at the Thai box office, the GTH studio's romantic comedy I Fine ... Thank You ... Love You (ไอฟาย..แต๊งกิ้ว..เลิฟยู้) took two prizes at the 10th Osaka Asian Film Festival.

Director Mez Tharatorn was named most-promising talent while I Fine's lead actress Preechaya "Ice" Pongthananikorn, won the Yakushi Pearl Award for her performance as a well-to-do celebrity English-language tutor who is reluctantly roped into teaching a boorish blue-collar factory worker to speak English so he can get back with his Japanese ex-girlfriend.

GTH stock-company leading man Sunny Suwanmethanon works his eyebrows into overdrive as the sneering greaser-styled biker guy in a factory jumpsuit, who needs schooling so he can join his Japanese girlfriend in the States. She's played by another GTH regular, spunky Japanese former AV idol Sora Aoi.

For Mez, the Osaka honor follows his previous box-office successes with the critically acclaimed Little Comedian and the 2012 box-office smash ATM Er Rak Err.

Formulated for GTH's proven demographic of well-heeled socially networked urban Thais, the fractured-English film came close to breaking Ong-Bak's record for first-day earnings, with 29 million baht. It then proceeded past the Thai industry's benchmark 100-million-baht threshold in its first three days, with the reported opening weekend earnings boosted by a Wednesday opening that coincided with the still-observed December 10 government holiday, Constitution Day. As the year ended, I Fine had hit the 200-million-baht mark and was still going. Like other GTH pictures, it's also proving popular in other Asian territories.

I Fine was also among nominees for the recent Subhanahongsa Awards, with 11 nods, including best film, director, screenplay and acting prizes.

In Osaka, other awards went to Taiwanese director Yee Chee-yen's youth drama Meeting Dr. Sun, which took the Grand Prize and the Audience Award. Film Business Asia has the full rundown.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Look of Silence, Y/Our Music set for Salaya Doc


The Look of Silence, an award-winning followup to Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing about genocide in Indonesia, and the SXSW entry Y/Our Music, which covers on-the-fringe Thai musicians, will be the opening and closing entries of the fifth Salaya International Documentary Film Festival, which runs from March 21 to 28 at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, and from March 24 to 27 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center.

Noteworthy films include Southeast Asian Cinema – When the Rooster Crows, covering directors Brillante Mendoza from the Philippines, Garin Nugroho from Indonesia, Eric Khoo from Singapore and Pen-ek Ratanaruang from Thailand, and Flowers of Taipei: Taiwan New Cinema, which traces the influence of such filmmakers as Edward Yang and Hou Hsiao-hsien. Among the filmmakers and artists testifying are Apichatpong Weerasethakul – he's in a trailer embedded below.

Other special screenings include Frederick Wiseman's National Gallery, Love Is All: 100 Years of Love and Courtship, featuring rare footage from the British Film Insitute and Yorkshire Film Archive; No Word for Worry, covering the fading "sea gypsy" culture of Myanmar; and The Wages of Resistance: Narita Stories, which is a followup to a long-running series of 1960s documentaries about farmers opposed to the ever-expanding Tokyo airport.

Also, there will be the controversial Diving Bell: The Truth Shall Not Sink with Sewol. The film, which caused an uproar at the Busan fest, will have a Q-and-A with the directors following a one-off BACC screening.

Acclaimed Dutch-Indonesian auteur Leonard Retel Helmrich, known for his "single-shot cinema" technique, is this year's "director in focus". Four of his award-winning films will be shown: Eye of the Day, Shape of the Moon, Position Among the Stars and Promised Paradise. He'll also conduct a masterclass for registered participants and be on hand after some screenings for a talk.

And the centerpiece of Salaya Doc is the Asean competition, which this year has seven entries, both shorts and features, from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Most of that program is detailed over at Bangkok Cinema Scene.

The schedule has just been completed and can be found on the Salaya Doc Facebook page. Also, it is possible to reserve seats online. You can do so at bit.ly/booking-for-salayadoc5.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Golden Swans drop Concrete Clouds back in Bangkok cinemas



While some Hollywood films experience an "Oscar bump" in box-office takings following the Academy Awards, the producers behind the award-winning Concrete Clouds are hoping for a similar boost with a limited re-release in Bangkok cinemas.

Following last Sunday's big win of three Golden Swan trophies at the 24th Subhanahongsa Awards, Concrete Clouds (ภวังค์รัก, Phawang Rak), is screening at SF World Cinema at CentralWorld. Shows will be at around 5:50pm nightly.




Winner of best film and best director at the Thai movie industry's version of the Oscars, Concrete Clouds stars Ananda Everingham, Janesuda Parnto, Prawith Hansten and best-supporting-actress winner Apinya Sakuljaroensuk in a story set in 1997 Bangkok, during the Asian financial meltdown. Ananda is a New York currency trader who returns to Thailand after the suicide of his father. While trying to put affairs in order for his estranged younger brother, he attempts to reconnect with an old flame.

In development since around 2010, Concrete Clouds is the long-awaited directorial debut of Lee Chatametikool, a film editor who came up during the late '90s Thai New Wave, and has been instrumental in shaping award-winning Thai indie films of the era, most notably the features of Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Mundane History by Apinya Sakuljaroensuk. Those two returned the favor by producing Concrete Clouds alongside Soros Sukhum and Hong Kong luminary Yonfan.

Put together with support that included Busan's Asian Cinema Fund, Visions Sud Est and Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund, Concrete Clouds premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in 2013 and the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2014.

Distribution deals include one for the U.K. and Ireland with Day for Night. In North America, it screened at last May's L.A. Asian Pacific Film Fest, and it's hinted that perhaps a series of campus screenings might be organized, so keep your eye out for that.

In case you missed it, the subtitled trailer is embedded below.



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Concrete Clouds flies high at Subhanahongsa Awards

Producer Soros Sukhum accepts the Best Film award for Concrete Clouds, alongside Lee Chatametikool. Cast and crew, including producers Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Yonfan and Anocha Suwichakornpong are also present. Courtesy of FNFAT.

Despite the best efforts of the nominating body to steer voters toward more-commercial fare, the indie drama Concrete Clouds was the big winner at the 24th Subhanahongsa Awards, the Thai film industry's version of the Oscars.

Coming from a field dominated by mainstream studio entries,  Concrete Clouds (ภวังค์รักPhawang Rak), the feature debut by veteran indie film editor Lee Chatametikool was named Best Film, and it also took the Golden Swan trophy for best director.

The glitzy black-tie-optional ceremony was held on Sunday night at the Thailand Cultural Center in Bangkok.

The Best Film award was accepted by veteran indie Thai producer Soros Sukhum, alongside Lee. They were joined onstage by other cast and crew and the co-producers, indie Thai directors Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Anocha Suwichakornpong, who have worked closely with Lee in the past, and Hong Kong producer Yonfan.

Long in the works, Concrete Clouds is the story of a Thai currency trader who is forced to return from New York to Bangkok after the suicide of his father during the 1997 financial crisis. While dealing with his estranged younger brother, the trader seeks to rekindle romance with an old flame.

Going into the awards, Concrete Clouds had nine nominations, including screenplay and all four actor categories for the cast of Ananda Everingham, Janesuda Parnto, Apinya Sakuljaroensuk and Prawith Hansten. Prolific young starlet Apinya rounded out the trophy count for Clouds, winning best supporting actress for her performance as a lonely neighbor girl who has a fling with the younger brother.

Two from Concrete Clouds – best supporting actress winner Apinya Sakuljaroensuk and the best director winner Lee. Winning best actor Jirayu La-ongmanee from Chiang Khan Story poses for photos in the background. Courtesy of FNFAT

The remaining acting prizes were spread among a trio of other mainstream-industry films – Jarinporn Joonkiat as best actress for her disarming turn as a stubborn young woman in Nonzee Nimibutr's romantic drama Timeline Jodmai Khwam Songjam (Timeline จดหมาย-ความทรงจำ); former child star Jirayu La-ongmanee as best actor for his performance as a lovelorn young filmmaker in Yuthlert Sippapak's Chiang Khan Story (Tukkae Rak Pang Mak, ตุ๊กแกรักแป้งมาก); and screen veteran Pongpat Wachirabanjong as best supporting actor in the new stage-leaning adaptation of a famous Thai novel that had been made into a film before, Plae Kao (The Scar).

The leading Subhanahongsa nominee was the GTH studio's romantic drama, director Nithiwat Tharatorn's The Teacher's Diary (คิดถึงวิทยา, Kid Tueng Wittaya). With 13 nods in all, it won the most prizes, grabbing up six Golden Swan trophies, including screenplay, cinematography, editing and music.

And a new category this year sought to reflect the trendiness of documentaries screening in cinemas. Three were nominated – By the River, Nontawat Numbenchapol's examination of a Karen village hit by an environmental disaster; Somboon, Krisada Tipchaimeta's heartfelt look at an elderly man's efforts to care for his chronically ailing wife; and The Master by Nawapol Thamrongratanarit.

And, not surprisingly, the award went to The Master, which reflects on the film industry with an entertaining line-up of Thai film figures and critics who recalled their early cinematic education in the form of bootleg videos purchased from the infamous Chatuchak Market pirate vendor Mr. Van.

The lifetime achievement award was also handed out. This year it went to action star Sombat Methanee, who at one time or another claimed a world record for most filmed appearances. Getting his start in 1960s, he rose to be the Thai film industry's top leading man after the death of Mitr Chaibancha in 1970. Among his hundreds of films was the 1965 romantic comedy Sugar Is Not Sweet by Ratt Pestonji, the 1966 version of the historical battle epic Bang Rajan, the gritty 1970 action thriller Choompae and the 2000 Thai western Tears of the Black Tiger.

This was the second year for a new voting process instituted by the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand, which aims to make the Subhanahongsas more like the Academy Awards, in which members of the industry cast votes for films depending on their areas of expertise. Previous years had relied on a jury of critics and old industry hands nominating and selecting the winners. However, the niggling problem remains of not all Federation members actually getting out to see the films. There's more about that in a story today in The Nation.

Best documentary winner Nawapol Thamrongratanarit (The Master) and best actress winner Jarinporn Joonkiat from Timeline. Courtesy of FNFAT

  • Best Film – Concrete Clouds
  • Director – Lee Chatametikool, Concrete Clouds
  • Screenplay: Nithiwat Tharatorn, Thosaphol Thiptinnakorn, Suppalerk Ningsanon, Sophana Chaowiwatkool, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Actor – Jirayu La-ongmanee, Chiang Khan Story
  • Actress – Jarinporn Joonkiat, Timeline Jodmai Khwam Songjum
  • Supporting actor – Pongpat Wachirabanjong, Plae Kao
  • Supporting actress – Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Concrete Clouds
  • Cinematography – Narupon Chokkanapitak, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Film editing – Thammarat Sumethsupachok, Pongsakorn Chanchalermchai, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Original song – "Mai Tang Kan" by 25 Hours, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Recording and sound mixing: Richard Hocks, The Couple (รัก ลวง หลอน, Rak Luang Lon)
  • Original score – Hualampong Riddim, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Art direction – Akradej Kaewkote, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Costume design – Athit Thriakittiwat, Plae Kao
  • Makeup – Sirirat Jamfa, Hong Hoon (ห้องหุ่น, a.k.a. Crack My Skin)
  • Visual effects – The Post Bangkok, Sming
  • Documentary – The Master, Nawapol Thamrongratanarit

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Open Secrets revealed in Chulalongkorn documentary exhibition

If you don't mind trying to watch films in the not-always-ideal setting of an art gallery, then perhaps you'll want to check out documentaries by noted Thai filmmakers and visual artists in the exhibition Open Secrets from tomorrow night until April 10 at Chulalongkorn University's Art Center in Bangkok.

Among the directors is Jakrawal Nilthamrong, a visual artist and experimental filmmaker. He just premiered his debut feature Vanishing Point to award-winning acclaim at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. While we patiently wait for that show up in local cinemas, the Chula show will feature three of his other works from the past few years, including the mid-length effort Unreal Forest, which he made in Zambia as part of an African initiative by the Rotterdam film fest. Others are Hangman and Orchestra.

Other directors are the trio of Kaweenipon Ketprasit, Kong Rithdee and Panu Aree, who make documentaries that focus on their Islamic faith and the unsung lives of moderate Muslims. Among their works will be the electrifying Baby Arabia, a feature about a Bangkok-based Muslim rock band that performs songs in Arabic and Malay. They will also screen Gadhafi, about a Thai dude with an unusual name.

In all, the exhibition will screen 11 films. Others taking part are Pisut Srimhok, Santiphap Inkong-ngam and Sutthirat Supaparinya.

Friday night's opening will feature a talk by the filmmakers, “Documentary Films: Mirrors of Society”, at 5pm. The venue is The Art Center on the seventh floor of the Center for Academic Resources (the library) at Chulalongkorn University's campus off Phayathai Road.

Lav Diaz, The Raid 2 among Asian Film Awards nominees



Demonstrating that it helps if you kick ass, Filipino auteur Lav Diaz and the Indonesian martial-arts film The Raid 2: Berandal will represent Southeast Asia at the ninth Asian Film Awards, which have once again not included any Thai films among its nominees.

Indie-cult helmer Diaz is among the best director nominees for his latest opus, From What Is Before (Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon), which examines the profound social tattering of a village under martial law during the Marcos regime. The four-hour drama premiered in competition at last year's Locarno fest, where it won the top-prize Golden Leopard.

And the impressionist action film The Raid 2: Berandal is nominated twice, best cinematography for Matt Flannery and Dimas Imam Subhono and best editing for Gareth Evans (who also directed and made it snow in Jakarta). One-upping 2011's The Raid at every turn, in terms of scope, fight scenes, stunts and characters, The Raid 2 follows a young butt-kicking police officer (no-nonsense leading man Iko Uwais) as he takes an undercover assignment as a prison inmate. His job is to infiltrate an underworld mob that has tentacles reaching all the way to the top of the police force.

Announced yesterday, the leading nominee for the ninth Asian Film Awards is Hong Kong director Ann Hui's The Golden Era, including best director and best actress for Tang Wei.

Other best director nominees are China's Lou Ye for Blind Massage, Japan's Shinya Tsukamoto for Fires on the Plain, India's Vishal Bhardwaj for Haider and South Korea's Hong Sang-soo for Hill of Freedom.

And the Best Film nominees are China's Black Coal, Thin Ice and Blind Massage, South Korea's Hill of Freedom and Ode to My Father, Japan's The Light Shine Only There and India's Haider. Variety and Film Business Asia break it down.

As with past editions of the Asian Film Awards, most of the nominees hail from China, followed by Hong Kong/Mainland co-productions, then South Korea, Japan and India.

Thailand has been shut out of the past couple editions of the Asian Film Awards, last appearing in 2012, when the Rashomon remake U Mong Pa Mueang and Pen-ek Ratanaruang's hitman drama Headshot were up for prizes. Thai composer Chatchai Pongpraphan came away a winner for his work on the Donnie Yen martial-arts drama Wu Xia.

Another good year was 2010, when Lee Chatametikool won best editing on the Malaysian indie Karaoke, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Cannes-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was named Best Film in 2011.

But looking at the nominees this year, I can start to see a pattern of sorts. Thailand had some well-regarded commercial hits last year, such as the GTH romances The Teacher's Diary and the blockbuster I Fine ... Thank You ... Love You or Yuthlert Sippapak's Tukkae Rak Pang Mak, but I can't quite see those going into a dark Macau alley with Lav Diaz or the boys from The Raid 2, or even the Chinese entries Black Coal, Thin Ice or Blind Massage. They'd get clobbered.

Best chance for Thailand at the Asian Film Awards might have been with past-winner Lee's feature directorial debut Concrete Clouds, which had many strong points, especially its cast. The scrappy indie student film W. might have fit in there somewhere as well, especially for editing. Another possibility might have been Uruphong Raksasad's award-winning documentary The Songs of Rice, which could have been a contender in the editing and cinematography categories. But, being a documentary, it's off the radar for the awards. Perhaps it's time to add a documentary category, hmm?

The Asian Film Awards are set for March 25 in Macau.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Last Executioner pops up in Bangkok

If you missed seeing The Last Executioner (เพชฌฆาต, Petchakat) last year (and lots did, given how it whirled in and out of cinemas) then here's a chance sighting in an unusual location, Bangkok's stately Neilson Hays Library.

Starring Shanghai film fest award-winner Vithaya Pansringarm as Thai prison death-row rifleman Chavoret Jaruboon, it's a biopic and psychological study about a man conflicted by his faith and his lethal profession.

The screening is set for this Thursday, February 26 at 7pm. Tickets are 400 baht (300bt for members/students).  Book here.

On hand afterward will be director Tom Waller, screenwriter Don Linder and star "Phu" Vithaya. A signed copy of the screenplay will be a raffled off.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Memory! fest has sweet treat for Bangkok


Sugar Is Not Sweet (น้ำตาลไม่หวาน, Namtan Mai Wan), a hyper-colorful romantic comedy by Thai cinema's pioneering auteur, R.D. Pestonji, is among a selection of classic films set to screen in the Memory! International Film Heritage Festival from February 26 to March 6 in Bangkok.

From 1965, Sugar Is Not Sweet was the final feature from Pestonji, and is one of his more-personal efforts with its reflection on his own Indian heritage. Starring Sombat Metanee in one of his early leading roles, the story is about the slacker son of a Chinese-Thai businessman who has promised his boy's hand in marriage to the orphaned daughter of his late Indian business partner. But the guy doesn't want to marry a "roti" (a racist colloquialism). He's rather stay with his vain gold-digging Thai girlfriend.

Alternating venues between the Alliance Francaise in Bangkok and the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, the Memory! festival will screen 11 films in all.

The selection includes three by the masters of the silent era, The Circus by Charles Chaplin, Safety Last by Harold Lloyd, and, in a fitting tie-in with the Film Archive's own steam locomotive, Buster Keaton's The General.

Under the theme of "Laughter!" the fest also has a tribute to French comedy kings Jacques Tati and Pierre Etaix with Tati's Playtime and Etaix' Happy Anniversary and The Great Love.

Another entry is 1955's The Ladykillers, the classic Ealing Studio comedy directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Alec Guinness in a positively sinister turn as the leader of a gang of thieves.

And from Asia, there's Good Morning by Yasujiro Ozu and Before Rising Up the Rank, a 1965 black-and-white comedy from Mongolia's Mongol Kino studio.

Originating in Phnom Penh in 2013, the Memory! fest is supported by the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema Heritage with an aim of promoting and preserving the world's film heritage. So it's only natural that it would come to Bangkok and help bolster the Thai Film Archive's similar efforts.

Admission is free, though online reservations are recommended. For the schedule and more details, please see a recent article in The Nation or check the festival's Facebook page.