Wednesday, April 15, 2009

8 Thai films at Udine, with Muay Thai action, horror and romance

The 11th Udine Far East Film Festival has announced its complete lineup, and this year it will feature eight Thai films, including a special section, "Kicks of Fury -- New Muay Thai Films", as well as Thai horror and romance, including the international festival premieres of Buppha Rahtree 3.1: Rahtree Reborn, Coming Soon, Somtum and Best of Times.

"Kicks of Fury -- New Muay Thai Films" features Tony Jaa's magnum opus Ong-Bak 2, which makes its European premiere.

Then there's a couple of Tony's action sisters -- the well-traveled hit Chocolate, featuring the debut of "Jeeja" Yanin Vismistananda, and last year's kid-powered Somtum, with girl boxer "Kat" Sasisa Jindamanee trying to teach hulking Nathan Jones Muay Thai, but it takes spicy papaya salad to bring out the fury in the gentle giant. Somtum is making its international festival premiere.

There's also bloody Muay Thai-basketball combat in Fireball by Thanakorn Pongsuwan, which makes its Italian premiere.

Two leading lights of Thai action cinema, Chocolate director and producer of Ong-Bak 2 Prachya Pinkaew, as well as producer and action choreographer Panna Rittikrai are expected to be among the guests in Udine.

Also heading to Italy will be producer-director Yongyooth Thongkongtoon. Along with sweet sentiment in his his new romantic drama Best of Times (Kwaam Jam San Dtae Rak Chan Yaao), making its international premiere, Yongyooth will bring the scares for Udine's Horror Day with the four-segment omnibus 4Bia -- a solid favorite on the festival circuit -- as well as last year's Coming Soon by Alone and Shutter co-writer Sophon Sakdapisit, also making its international festival premiere.

The Thai lineup is rounded out with a third feature for Horror Day -- Buppha Rahtree 3.1: Rahtree Reborn -- making its international premiere. Just released in Thai cinemas last week, I'm still puzzling this one over, so I'll be interested to find out what other people think about it.

The 11th Udine Far East Film Festival runs from April 24 to May 2.

(Via e-mailed press release; thanks Stephen!)

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