Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bitter/Sweet to make Asian premiere as opener of Phuket Film Festival

Bitter/Sweet, the Hollywood-Thai coffee romance that's set in scenic southern Thailand, comes home to make its Asian premiere as the gala opening film of the Phuket Film Festival.

Filmed in nearby Krabi, Bitter/Sweetan award-winner at the recent WorldFest – stars Kip Pardue as an American coffee buyer who comes to Thailand to check out a crop and at first clashes with but is ultimately captivated by a fiery public-relations executive, played by "Mamee" Napakpapha Nakprasit (Art of the Devil 2 and 3).

The Thai cast also includes "Gof" Akara Amarttayakul, "Tong" Pakkaramai Potranan, Kalorin Nemayothin, Arun Whasadeewong, Viyada Umarin and Sompop Benjatikul.

They're expected to make an appearance at the Phuket fest's opening-night gala.

But there will be some Hollywood names at the fest, among them Adrian Brody, who stars in Cadillac Records, which is billed among the many Asian premieres for the fest.

There's also the Spotlight on Taiwanese Film, which will include the Thailand premiere of the smash-hit romance Cape No. 7, and have many Taiwanese filmmakers and actors hitting the festival.

The Alternative Lifestyle program is back this year, and it includes the Icelandic docudrama about a Filipino "ladyboy" The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela. And there's a Focus on Women Directors.

The closing film is another local production -- the Anglo-Thai short Wild Chaba, directed by Darren Hill and Nurida Mareh. Shot entirely on Phuket, the 15-minute Thai-language short film is a romance about a man and his love for a girl who gave him a painting of a flower.

Running from June 4 to 11, this year is the sophomore edition for the Phuket Film Festival, which started in 2007 and took a hiatus last year. The fest moves from Patong Beach to Phuket Town, where it'll be screening at the Coliseum Paradise Multiplex.

Says festival director Scott Rosenberg: "This year is nothing like the 2007 edition. Big names, good films, lots of sales-agent interest and some really cool parties."

Check the festival website for the complete lineup (PDF).

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