Thursday, October 6, 2005

Prachya Pinkaew's next project: Better relations with Laos

Prachya Pinkaew, director of Ong-Bak and Tom Yum Goong, is working on a romance that he hopes will bring better relations between Thailand and its northeastern neighbor, Laos.

This is according to the Bangkok Post, which was reporting on a seminar on the "Media Role in Thai-Lao Relations."

"As an Isaan boy, I have seen the smallest of issues cause serious misunderstandings between the two sides," Prachya was quoted as saying. "There are several Lao phrases and wordings that are lovely or have decent meanings and I'd like to present them in a positive way through this film.''

Prachya's movie, E-Nang, is a love story between a Thai man and a Laotian woman.

He said he was seeking approval from the Laotian government to shoot the whole film there was ready to cooperate with the Laotian authorities in terms of script editing and other production matters.

For now, a sticking point in Thai-Laotian relations is the invasion of Thai culture via the airwaves and pirated video, mainly in the form of Thai television soap operas.

Siam Sunvaribudh, managing director of Dara Video Co Ltd, which produces programs of Thai TV's channel 7, told the seminar that his TV soap operas were mostly based on Thai novels and everything was being done not to let any irritating and culturally sensitive scenes slip through self-censorship in satellite broadcasts to neighboring countries.

"We want our neighboring countries to tell us what else should we do as we realize that our programs have strong signals and can be easily received and greatly influence their people," Siam was quoted as saying. "We've already tried our best not to undermine bilateral relations."

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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