Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hi-So, Eternity, Baby Arabia among projects added to Strong Thailand fund

Aditya Assarat's High Society, Panu Aree's, Kaweenipon Ketprasit's and Kong Rithdee's Baby Arabia and Sivaroj Kongsakul's Eternity among an additional 41 projects slated to be recipients of the Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) fund of the Culture Ministry.

The money is from the 53 million baht that was reallocated from the 100 million baht the ministry was going give the Legend of King Naresuan sequels. But after it was discovered the Commerce Ministry was giving 330 million baht to MC Chatrichalerm Yukol's historical epics, the Culture Ministry said it would cut that 100 million by around half.

In total the Culture Ministry has budgeted 200 million baht for the Thai Khem Kaeng fund.

Baby Arabia, a documentary on a Malay-Thai musical troupe, is set to receive 850,000 baht.

Also due to receive funds are High Society (Hi-So) and Eternity, two movies produced by Pop Pictures that will have rough-cut showings at next week's Paris Screenings as part of the Paris Cinema Film Festival.

Still pending is the "Shakespeare project" by Citizen Juling documentarians Ing K and Manit Sriwanichpoom.

Manit, along with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, had been a vocal critic of the Culture Ministry's funding scheme.

Prof. Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, the ministry's deputy permanent secretary, says he believes that the budget allocation for the second round will not cause complaints.

With the reallocation, a total of 89 projects are due to receive funds.

First-round recipients included Pen-ek Ratanaruang for Fon Tok Khuen Fah ("rain in blue") and Anocha Suwichakornpong for her next feature, Dao Kanong (By the Time It Gets Dark) and Apichatpong's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

Thai Rath has a more complete rundown of the new projects.

Update: I made corrections or deleted the amounts of money being awarded because my machine translation of the Thai Rath report is not clear. Apologies. I'm sorry the films aren't receiving as much money as I thought they were.

(Via Extra Virgin)

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