Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bangkok International Animation Festival set for September 25 to 30

Around 40 animated features and shorts will be shown in the first Bangkok International Animation Festival, set for September 25 to 30, according to reports by Xinhua and The Hollywood Reporter.

Announced yesterday at a press conference, Minister Ranongruk Suwanchawee of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT), said the festival is part the current Thai government's push for a "Creative Economy".

The opening film will be Yona Yona Penguin, the latest from Metropolis director Rintaro. A Japanese-French co-production about three children traveling to magical realm, it's not due to be released in Japan until December, according to IMDb. The closer will be Hayao Miyazaki's latest environmentally themed fantasy-adventure, Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea, which opened for a limited run last week in two Bangkok cinemas.

The event coincides with the Bangkok International Film Festival (BKKIFF), which runs from September 24 to 30, and the two festivals share venues -- CentralWorld and Siam Paragon -- and will combine for at least one event. A banner ad on the BKKIFF website advertises the animation fest.

A look around the website for the Bangkok International Animation Film Festival (BKKIAF) reveals three selected animated features: the Australian claymation Mary and Max, American director Henry Selick's latest wonder Coraline -- possibly due for a wider release in Bangkok cinemas at some point -- and the Irish film, The Secret of Kells.

Nine shorts are listed: Slavar (Slaves) from Sweden, El Empleo (The Employment) from Argentina, Runaway from Canada, Please Say Something from Ireland and Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage, The Man in the Blue Gordini, Ex-E.T., For Sock's Sake and Shrug from France.

Awards will be given for best short and feature with jury members including director Nonzee Nimibutr, musician-artist-actor Petch Osathanugrah, producer Shuzo John Shiota and animator Mike Nguyen.

A Thai and Asian showcase will spotlight recent Thai animated features, including The Life of Buddha, Khan Khluay and Khan Kluay II and Nak, as well as The Magic Aster by China's Yao Guanghua.

Pioneering Thai animator Payut Ngaokrachang will be honored with a special "Payut Night" on September 29 at Siam Paragon. He created Thailand's first animated feature, The Adventure of Sudsakorn, released in 1979.

Other events include a Night Party (hosted by the Bangkok International Film Festival), a Directors' Night and a fashion show featuring outfits from the Issue label that were inspired by Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues, as well as workshops and seminars.

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