Saturday, February 4, 2006

Three film companies quit Federation

Five Star Production, RS Film and GMM Tai Hub have resigned from the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand, after the Federation's president, Somsak Techaratanaprasert, called for a boycott of the Bangkok International Film Festival.

The Bangkok Post covers the latest salvo.

"Since we are not able to follow [the Federation's] decision, we believe it's best to resign,'' Apiradee Iampungporn, executive at Five Star, was quoted as saying.

So there will be many Thai films shown at the festival after all.

Somsak is also the CEO of Sahamongkol Film, who used his position in the Federation to favor films made by his company. For instance, in past years, the festival's sidebar film market was weighted towards Sahamongkol films.

The Federation called for a boycott after the festival's organizer, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, didn't seek the Federation's assistance this year in selecting Thai films for the program, nor did it want the Federation's help in organizing the film market. It also cut back on advertising funds, which in past years had been funneled through the Federation.

The boycott has only served to further deepen a rift between Somsak and Federation members who are affiliated with companies besides Sahamongkol, a rift that was seen earlier this year in the disputed Thailand National Film Awards.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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