Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Romance and coffee in southern Thailand

With the notion that it will do for southern Thailand's coffee country as Sideways did for California's wine trails, the Daily Xpress today has a story from a press conference about the Hollywood-Thai co-production of Bitter Sweet, an English-language romance film.

It is directed by Jeff Hare and stars Kip Pardue as a coffee specialist who is sent to Thailand to seek out a decent Robusta plant. Understandably, he is reluctant to accept bitter Robusta over the more milder Arabica, but he soon falls under the spell of the stronger bean, as well as the charms of Thai businesswoman Ticha. She is played by Art of the Devil's Napakpapha Nakprasitte, who previously captured the heart of a white boy in 2002's Butterfly Man.

The producer is Urs T Brunner, a Thailand-based Swiss national. Here' s more from the Daily Xpress story:

The film is set in Krabi’s coffee growing area, where Brunner’s Thai wife owns a farm.
"Most people don't know that Thai coffee is very good quality or that the coffee plantations in Krabi are beautiful," says Brunner, who's lived in Thailand for 18 years. "It's a romantic story that depicts the love Thais have for their other and for their country."

Aside from director Hare, the rest of the crew is Thai, including cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom. The film is expected to be ready for release in February.

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