Thursday, May 21, 2009

William Shatner beaming in as plans firm up for World Comedy Film Festival

Actor William Shatner will be among the guests at the World Comedy Film Festival, which is set for Bangkok from June 10 to 16. Shatner's gift for comedy can be seen in such Star Trek episodes as "The Trouble With Tribbles". He's never shied away from making fun of his own persona as well as Star Trek fans. He's also been parodied countless times.

Other guests will be Eric Roberts -- another actor with a gift for camp and self parody -- as well as comic actress Brittany Daniel and Singaporean comedian and filmmaker Jack Neo.

Since being first mentioned in January, the World Comedy Film Festival has suffered many delays. It was first scheduled for the end of April or early May. When the rescheduled fest was again announced, the dates overlapped with the now-canceled Phuket Film Festival.

The fest is sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and organized by the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand, but it's being programmed by Chalida Uabumrungjit of the Thai Film Foundation.

Daily Xpress has the details in a story today:

[T]he festival offers a variety of comedy styles very different from those in Thai cinema.

“Foreign countries have many concepts of comedy while Thai films really have only one popular comedy genre,” Chalida notes.

From romantic comedy to madcap, food, wedding, satirical and classic slapstick, the festival features films from all over the world.

The retrospective will focus on talented Singaporean Jack Neo, who’s done everything from scriptwriting to acting and directing. Three of his movies will be screened: Money No Enough, Money No Enough 2 and his latest work Love Matters. Neo will also attend the festival.

Ten Thai films have been selected for the Chronology of Siamese Humour category featuring work by such comedians as Lor Tok, Chusree Mesommon, Thep Thianchai and Teng Terdterng. Among them will be the 1950s feature Sao Dao Tiem featuring Amara Assawanon, Chusree Mesommon and Dokdin Kanyamarn.

Other classics will be screened, among them the 1970s comedy Theppabutr Ta Ting Nong, starring the comic trio of Den Dokpradu, Der Doksadao and Thep Pho-ngam.

“There are problems with the film’s soundtrack but we are working on it so as to be able to show it at the festival,” says Chalida.

The opening and closing films have yet to be confirmed, though the organizers are hoping to open with Thai director Ekachai Uekrongtham's latest film, the Singaporean romantic comedy The Wedding Game starring Singaporean celebrity couple Fann Wong and Christopher Lee.

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