Thursday, February 2, 2006

Thai films at the 2006 Bangkok International Film Festival

Rather than have its traditional Thai Panorama category, this year the Bangkok International Film Festival is spreading out its selection of Thai films, putting them in every section of the program.

Festival program director Jennifer Stark explains it all in a press release.

The films by Thai directors are so strong that there are Thai films in all categories of competition and in every section of the festival. The quality of films is such that we don't need a special showcase for them in their own section as has been the case in the past with the Thai Panorama. These films and filmmakers are more than worthy and can compete in our international line-up."

The lineup offers evidence that the "boycott" by the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand isn't going to do much damage to the festival. Here's the complete lineup of Thai films:

International Competition
  • Invisible Waves, Pen-Ek Rantanaruang
Asean Competition
  • 3 Friends, ML Mingmongkol Sonakul, Pumin Chinaradee and Aditya Assarat
  • The Tin Mine, Jira Maligool
  • Ahimsa: Stop to Run, Kittikorn Laiwsirikun
Documentary Competition
  • The Stories from the North, Uruphong Raksasad
Reel World
  • Innocence, Areeya Sirisopha and Nisa Kongsri
  • Things that Move: Fireflies, Suwan Huangsirisakul
Windows on the World
  • Dear Dakanda, Khomkrit Treewimol
  • Oops! There's Dad, Rutaiwan Wongsirasawad
  • Ghost of Mae Nak, Mark Duffield
  • The King Maker, Lek Kitiparaporn
  • Art of the Devil 2, Kongkiat Khomsiri, Art Thamtrakul, Yosapong Polsap, Putipong Saisikaew, Isara Nadee, Pasith Buranajan and Seree Pongniti
Jameson Popular Thai Film Award
  • The Tin Mine, Jira Maligool
  • Dear Dakanda, Khomkrit Treewimol
  • Innocence, Areeya Sirisopha and Nisa Kongsri
  • Art of the Devil 2, Kongkiat Khomsiri, etc.
Sombat Metanee Retrospective
  • Angelic Fighter
  • Blood of the Sun
  • Tarutao, Devil's Island
  • Tears of the Black Tiger
  • The Warrior
I'm a bit puzzled by some of this. First, I thought the Asean Competition had already been set, but The Tin Mine and Ahimsa: Stop to Run appear to have been added since the slate was first announced. I take it these are in addition to the films already selected, and there are no changes in films from other Asean countries? Also, it appears The Tin Mine is competing in two categories - Asean and the sponsored Popular Thai Film Award, which I think is new this year.

Not complaining though, except for maybe the inclusion of The Kingmaker among the lineup. It's good to see Ahimsa get some more attention, and that I'll get another chance to see Oops ... There's Dad, which I missed last year. But most of my attention will be going toward Asean films from other countries, as well as the Sombat Metanee Retrospective.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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