High Society is the next feature project by Wonderful Town director Aditya Assarat. Art from a promotional postcard for High Society turned up at ThaiCinema.org featuring ubiquitous pan-Asian leading man Ananda Everingham gazing out over his hand holding an ash-tipped cigarette. I wanted to know more, so I sent an e-mail to the director. He answered back:
High Society is my next film, and yes we've been talking to Ananda Everingham about starring in the film. I actually had been speaking to him as early as four years ago about this project but we never got the chance to make it and I went to make Wonderful Town instead. And he went and got super famous. But it's really written for him and he's right for the role so as long as he's still available and interested, I would like to work with him. I hope to shoot the film the beginning of next year but that would depend on the financial situation and the casting for the other roles. So it's not confirmed as of yet.
A romantic drama, High Society is a look at contemporary Thai youths, who are a generation caught between Thai and Western culture. The story follows a young man who has become a celebrated actor in Thailand has consequently drifted apart from his Australian university sweetheart May. His new Thai girlfriend, June, however, feels alienated by the Westernized actor and his English-speaking friends.
Aditya has been trying to secure funding for the film, pitching it earlier this year at the Hong Kong Asian Film Financing Forum (HAF), and then in the Thai Pitch at the Cannes Film Market.
Screen Daily's Silvia Wong had details about the film in her coverage of HAF (PDF download), reporting the budget at $350,000, with plans to shoot the first half of the film in a small beachside town with English dialogue and the second half in Bangkok with Thai dialogue. An English-speaking foreigner actress would play Ananda's Australian girlfriend May.
The director explains more in the Screen Daily story:
Now you have Thai kids who only speak English. I'm sure there are kids in Brazil who watch only Chinese movies or kids in Africa who listen to only French music. I'd like to examine the breakdown of borders with this film.
"It will be an experiment that uses repetition, language and shifting points of view."