Monday, March 29, 2010
ActionFest has Raging Phoenix, Power Kids, Born to Fight
A trio of fierce Thai action titles from Sahamongkol Film International is among the early entries announced for the inaugural ActionFest, which is set for April 15 to 18 in Asheville, North Carolina.
Raging Phoenix (จีจ้า ดื้อสวยดุ, Jija Deu Suay Du), the sophomore effort from action-girl Jija Yanin, will make its North American premiere. Power Kids, which shows that Thai children can fight just as hard as their elders Jija, Tony Jaa and Dan Chupong, will make its U.S. premiere after having screened at Montreal's Fantasia fest last year. And in a retrospective program, there's 2004's Born to Fight, stunt guru's Panna Rittikrai's directorial effort about a cop (Dan Chupong) and a team of Thai national athletes (among them female fighters Nui Kessarin from Dangerous Flowers and "Kat" Sasisa Jindamanee from Power Kids) taking on missile-armed narco-terrorists in a tiny upcountry village.
The fest opens with Centurion by Neil Marshall.
Chuck Norris is the festival's special guest. Or rather the festival is a special guest of Chuck Norris. Norris' Code of Silence and Braddock: Missing in Action III will screen.
He'll also serve on the competition jury with a crew of online film experts and programmers: Colin Geddes, head of programming for Midnight Madness at the Toronto International Film Festival, Todd Brown, founder and editor of Twitchfilm.net, Drew McWeeney, screenwriter and chief film writer for HitFix.com and Devin Faraci, chief film critic for CHUD.com.
ActionFest is created by Carolina Cinemas founder and Magnolia Pictures co-founder Bill Banowsky and action director and producer Aaron Norris. Banowsky’s colleague at Magnolia, Tom Quinn, is head programmer, while Matthew Kiernan is festival director.
What a blast they're going to have in Asheville. Wish I could be there.
Check the rest of the lineup at the festival website.