Graceland was Anocha's master's thesis work from Columbia University, and it was the first Thai short to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered in 2006. Sarawut Martthong stars as an Elvis impersonator from Bangkok is taken out into the countryside by a strange woman (Jelaralin Chanchoenglop) and abandoned. The 17-minute, 35mm short, which premiered in Cannes Cinefondation program, has a interesting production history involving the color blue -- perhaps appropriate given that Elvis sang songs about blue suede shoes and blue Christmases -- but it ended up costing Mai a lot of green, as in money.
Next will be Like. Real. Love. (Duj Jit Jai), a mini-trilogy on romance, with each word setting a theme: "Like" for love between a man and a woman; "Real" for mother-child love; and "Love" about all encompassing love in humanity. One of the segments, Jai (Love) won a special mention at last year's International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, and the 38-minute compilation premiered at last year's International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Saturday's session will hopefully be a good time to catch up with Mai and find out what other projects she and her Electric Eel Films have going. I know she and editor Lee Chatametikool have been at work on her debut feature, initially called The Sparrow but now it's Mundane History.
A recent interview in BK Magazine has more details. Here's an excerpt:
BK: Can you tell us more about your feature debut?
Mai: It’s called Jao Nok Krajok (Mundane History: Of Fragments of a Film I Once Made). It’s a family drama that revolves around a boy who suffers from paralysis after an accident, a father who brings him home, and a male nurse hired to take care of the son. The film focuses on how the boy’s life is changed by the accident and the relationships between the three characters living under the same roof. We’re in the editing process right now. Hopefully, it will be completed mid-year.
BK: What else are you up to?
Mai: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, a three-part film by three female directors from Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore. We present different aspects of love through three meals, and I chose lunch. I find it the most interesting because lunch feels more like an interval of your day than a proper meal. You have to hurry through it. It’s a perfect representation of fleeting love.
Read the whole thing for Mai's views on filmmaking and how she feels about watching her own movie.
Programmed by the Thai Film Foundation, the 6 Degrees of Separation screening is at 5.30pm on Saturday, March 25, in the Kiosk Cafe, at the back of the Thailand Creative and Design Center on the sixth floor of Bangkok's Emporium shopping complex. Get there early to get a seat.