Sunday, January 11, 2009

Desolation Angel to close the Phangan Film Festival

The Phangan Film Festival, taking place from February 20 to 22 on the island of Pha Ngan in the Gulf of Thailand, has announced the lineup for its second edition. The festival offers a mix of short and feature-length independent documentaries on spiritual and environmental themes.

Among the films will be Bangkok-based actor and filmmaker Erich Fleshman's documentary, Desolation Angel. It was screened last year in Bangkok at the Foreign Correspondents of Club of Thailand, but this will be its first appearance at any festival.

Here's more on the film from Fleshman's website:

Desolation Angel is a personal road-journey for American Erich Fleshman, who moved to Thailand many years back but is still confused by the many contradictions of the country. He wonders why Bangkok residents don’t understand their own traditions, like Songkran [the Thai New Year], and decides to drive outside the busy city, to get the answers.

Transitioning from the raucousness of Songkran in concrete, crowded Bangkok, the director finds himself at home in the quiet countryside of Nakhon Sawan, in a cultural environment more rooted, basic, and simple.

And here's the rest of the festival lineup:

Friday, February 20

  • Ribbon of Sand (USA, 2007, 26 min.) - A look at the Outer Banks islands of North Carolina.
  • The Linguists (USA, 2007, 70 min.) - Scientists race to document languages on the verge of extinction.
  • Laya Project (India/Malaysia, 2007, 67 min.) - A visual journey documenting folk music recorded and filmed on location in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, India and Burma (Myanmar).
  • Toumai (Hope of Life) (USA, 2008, 4 min.) - The story of mankind's destructive battle against nature in his attempt to build the ultimate machine.
  • A Silent Forest (USA, 2008, 46 min.) - Dr. David Suzuki narrates this documentary on the impact genetically engineered trees will have on human health, native forests, forest-dwelling indigenous peoples and wildlife.
  • Auroville - the City the Earth Needs (France, 2007, 57 min.) - The dream of Utopia lives in in Auroville, southeast India, where men and women from around the world gathered at the end of the 1960s to embark together on this unique experiment.

Saturday, February 21

  • Global Focus V - The New Environmentalists (USA, 2009, 30 min.) - Intimate portraits of seven passionate and dedicated activists in Belgium, Mexico, Siberia, Ecuador, Mozambique and Puerto Rico. Robert Redford narrates.
  • Intelligent Life: Change Your Mind. Change the World (USA, 2008, 73 min.) - Offers a blueprint of everyday solutions for the Obama era.
  • Is There a Pong? (Canada, 2007, 3 min.) - Rantdog, a hand puppet controlled by a severed arm, smokes a pipe and talks about the glories of video games and machinima.
  • FLOW: For Love of Water (USA, 2008, 84 min.) - Our life-giving water is a resource in peril.
  • Portrait of a Dancer (India, 2007, 2 min.) - Hamsa Moily is an experimental dancer caught between two worlds who is searching for her language.
  • Living Yoga: The Life and Teachings of Swami Satchidananda (USA, 2007, 60 min.) - A look at the blend of yoga, spiritual philosophy and interfaith ideals brought by an Indian guru to the Woodstock generation of the 1960s.

Sunday, February 22

  • La Tuerca (The Nut) (Spain, 2007, 10 min.) - The story of a little girl and a nut.
  • Temples in the Clouds (India, 2008, 56 min.) - Adventuring paragliders James Mallinson and Enrico Patuzzi put their skills, endurance, faith and commitment to the test in the Himalayas as they attempt to reach the ancient and remote temple of the Goddess Himani Chamunda.
  • Tesfaye's Story (Ethopia/USA, 2008, 5 min.) - Tesfaye, a middle-aged native Ethiopian, is in search of hope of restoration of Ethiopia's decimated forests.
  • What About Me? (United Kingdom, 2008, 85 min.) - Multimedia collective 1 Giant Leap (Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman) makes an exploration of human nature, revealing how we are all connected not only through our creativity and beliefs, but mostly through our madness.
  • The Water Bearer (Canada, 2007, 52 min.) - On Flores Island, Indonesia, Catholics and Muslims work together in a simple quest for clean running water.
  • Desolation Angel (Thailand, 2007, 46 min.) - Juxtaposes the desolation of modern life amongst the faceless shadows in the often-chaotic megalopolis of Bangkok with the warmth and closeness felt with strangers in the traditional, relaxed setting in provincial Thailand.

Screenings start each night at 7:30. Tickets cost 300 baht per evening or 700 for a festival pass. The venue is Holiday Beach Resort.

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