Friday, September 11, 2009

Mundane History, Phuket among world premieres at 14th Pusan International Film Festival

Indie filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong's debut feature Mundane History (Jao Nok Krajok) will have its world premiere in the New Currents competition at the 14th Pusan International Film Festival.

The film was financed through various sources, including script-development and post-production support from the International Film Festival Rotterdam's Hubert Bals Fund and a post-production boost from PIFF's Asian Cinema Fund.

Here is the synopsis from the festival website:

Ake is confined to his bed after an accident leaves him paralyzed. He is cared for by Pun, a male nurse who is hired by Thanin, the family patriarch. Eventually we begin to understand what secrets lie beneath the peaceful family façade.

Mundane History is competing in the 12-film New Currents line-up for first or second features by Asian filmmakers. The panel of judges for the competition includes Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang.

Here's a look at the other Thai films at Pusan:

  • Phuket -- Another world premiere, this 30-minute short by Aditya Assarat, commissioned by various tourism interests in Thailand, stars South Korean actress Lim Soo Jung who's on holiday on the southern Thailand resort island and just wants to get away from it all. Driving her is veteran Thai leading man Sorapong Chatree. Phuket is playing in the Wide Angle - Short Film Showcase 3.
  • A Letter to Uncle Boonmee -- Apichatpong Weerasethakul's well-traveled new short film, part of his multi-platform Primitive project, is in Short Film Showcase 3.
  • Happiness of Kati -- Released in Thailand in January, this childhood drama is based on the SeaWrite Award-winning novel by Jane Vejjajiva.
  • Khan Kluay II -- The animated historical epic about the heroic war elephant of King Naresuan the Great is showing in the Special Programs in Focus - Ani-Asia!: A Leap of Asian Feature Animation 4.
  • Nymph -- Pen-ek's forest thriller and relationship rumination is showing in A Window on Asian Cinema.
  • Sawasdee Bangkok -- This is the same cherry-picked four-film version of the nine-film omnibus that the Toronto International Film Festival has chosen. It has shorts by Aditya, Pen-ek, Wisit Sasanatieng and Kongdej Jaturanrasamee. The entire nine-film package, running at around three hours, has been mentioned as the closer of this month's Bangkok International Film Festival.
  • Path of Anna -- Japanese documentarian Riyo Naoi focuses on an HIV-infected mother living in a small village in northern Thailand. It's in the Wide Angle - Documentary Competition.

Additionally, there's the Pusan Promotion Plan, which has chosen Ekachai Uekrongtham's Enemies has one of the projects being pitched.

It's a record year for PIFF, which is showing 355 films from 70 countries, including with 98 world premieres and 46 international premieres, Screen Daily reports. The fest runs from October 8 to 16.

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