Eternity, by Sivaroj Kongsakul, will be the WFFBKK's opening film on November 5. The drama, which is a highly personal, haunting reflection of Sivaroj's thoughts about his father's death, is in the New Currents competition this week at the Pusan International Film Festival. It's the debut feature by Sivaroj, a well-known fixture on the Thai indie scene, whose short film Silencio won many awards. Eternity is produced by Aditya Assarat's Pop Pictures.
Insects in the Backyard makes its Thai premiere as part of the World Film Festival's Asian Contemporary line-up. Directed by indie darling Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, the katoey filmmaker also stars as the lewd-and-crude cross-dressing "big sister" to a pair of troubled teenagers. The three form an unconventional family unit and deal with all sorts of relationship problems. Insects premiered in the Dragons and Tigers competition at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Another noteworthy Asian Contemporary world premiere is Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, a compilation of shorts by three Asian female directors. Mundane History director Anocha Suwichakornpong directs Lunch. The other two directors are China's Wang Jing and Kaz Cai from Singapore. The project has long been in the works and at one time had Peng Shan and Eva Tang attached to direct the China and Singapore portions. It's produced by Bee Pin Tay and Wormwood Films of Singapore.
Here's the Asian Contemporary program:
- A Man Who Ate His Cherries, Payman Haghani (Iran)
- At the End of Daybreak, Ho Yuhang (Malaysia)
- Au Revoir Taipei, Arvin Chen (Taiwan)
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wang Jing, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Kaz Cai (China, Thailand, Singapore)
- Crossing the Mountain, Yang Rui (China)
- Eternity (Tee Rak), Sivaroj Kongsakul (Thailand)
- Insects in the Backyard, Tanwarin Sukkhapisit (Thailand)
- Memories of a Burning Tree, Sherman Ong (Tanzania, Singapore)
- No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti, Leon Dai (Taiwan)
- Red Dragonflies, Liao Jiekai (Singapore)
- Spine on Shine, Yasuhisa Yasaku (Japan)
- The Child of the Sun, Christopher Gozum (Philippines)
- The Man Beyond the Bridge, Laxmikant Shetgaonkar (India)
- The Night Infinite, Ato Bautista (Philippines)
- The Well, Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni (India)
There's also a bunch of Thai and other Southeast Asian shorts in the Short Wave and Guts Nouveau programs, which I aim to get into later.
Other highlights of this year's festival include a Retrospective on French director Jacques Doillon and the Lotus Award for Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and a package on New Turkish Cinema.
More about the fest is in The Nation today.
The World Film Festival of Bangkok runs from November 5 to 14 at Paragon Cineplex and at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit (Ekamai).