Chukiat Sakweerakul's family and teen romantic drama The Love of Siam is in the Southeast Asia Competition at the 10th Cinemanila Film Festival, which runs from October 16 to 29.
Here's the lineup in that section:
- 12 Lotus (Royston Tan, Singapore)
- Adela (Adolf Alix, Philippines)
- The Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly (Edwin, Indonesia)
- Confessional (Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Dahis Antipuesto, Philippines)
- Flower in the Pocket (Liew Seng Tat, Malaysia)
- The Love of Siam (Chukiat Sakveerakul, Thailand)
- The Photograph (Nan Achnas, Indonesia)
Along with The Love of Siam, 12 Lotus and The Photograph were also in competition at the recent Bangkok International Film Festival. They are covered in my capsule reviews from the fest.
The Main Competition at Cinemanila has some interesting entries, including Melancholia, Lav Diaz' 7.5-hour-free drama. The winner of the Orizzonti Grand Prize when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival, it was recently reviewed in Variety, which gave Melancholia its highest praise, calling it "madly uncommercial".
Another interesting choice in the Main Competition is The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela, a docu-drama by Icelandic documentarian Olaf de Fleur Johannesson about a Filipino transsexual who dreams of escaping Cebu City to live the glamorous life in Paris.
The Docs in Competition has a strong local/regional flavor as well, including Cambodia's Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers by Rithy Panh, and Teak Leaves at the Temple by Garin Nugroho from Indonesia.
Brillante Mendoza, whose Serbis will get a limited release next week at House cinema in Bangkok after its prize-winning run at the Bangkok International Film Festival, is the Director in Focus at Cinemanila this year.