Thursday, April 24, 2008

Aditya Assarat retrospective tomorrow night

Indie director Aditya Assarat, whose debut solo feature Wonderful Town has been burning up the international festival circuit, will have a retrospective of his four short films tomorrow night at the Bioscope Theatre in Bangkok.

The four shorts are his master's thesis project, Motorcycle, which has won many awards, Waiting, Boy Genius and Boy Genius 2: The Sign.

The show starts at 7pm. Admission is free. The grandly named Bioscope Theatre (named after one of the first movie theatres in Bangkok) is basically a small screening room in the Bioscope magazine offices on Ratchadaphisek Soi 22. Get there early to get a seat. For more details, call (02) 541 5318-9.

Motorcycle is about a father grieving over his son, who was killed in a motorcycle wreck. The film won many awards from festivals, including the Chicago International Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival and the Shorts International Film Festival in New York City.

Waiting is a 23-minute short about an old man traveling to Surat Thani to find a former lover.

The Boy Genius series is about two filmmakers making a home movie. One of Aditya's upcoming projects is I Love U, a third film in the Boy Genius series.

Aditya's first feature was 3 Friends, which he co-directed with Pumin Chinaradee and ML Mingmongkol Sonakul. Starring Art of the Devil star Napakpapha "Mamee" Nakprasit, it is a parody of reality TV series and the bikini babe VCDs featuring Thai actresses and models that are sold in 7-Eleven stores.

In 2006 he started Pop Pictures with friends Soros Sukhum and Jetnipith Teerakulchanyut to produce Wonderful Town. Shooting was completed with a production grant from Rolex SA, a program that saw Aditya be mentored as a "protege" under Indian director Mira Nair. He also received backing for Wonderful Town from Thailand's Ministry of Culture.

Another proposed project is a feature, High Society, which he recently tried to get funding for at the Hong Kong Asian Film Financing Forum.

His debut solo feature, Wonderful Town won the cash-heavy New Currents Award at the 2007 Pusan International Film Festival. It then picked up a Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, a top prize at the Deauville Asian Film Festival and the Fipresci award at Hong Kong. It has screened at festivals worldwide, including Berlin, Buenos Aires, Lisbon and New York. It will be playing in the San Francisco International Film Festival, which starts today. It has been picked up for distribution in the U.S. by Kino, and will be screening theatrically in France.

Wonderful Town will finally will have its Thailand premiere on May 15 at CentralWorld.

(Via Daily Xpress, Deknang; cross-published at The Nation Weblog)

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