Monday, January 30, 2012
Hua Hin fest gets Gosling, awards It Gets Better
The first edition of the Hua Hin International Film Festival wrapped up its four-day run over the weekend, with organizers giddy over the participation of the big-name star Ryan Gosling.
Actress Michelle Yeoh and French director Luc Besson appeared at the closing gala on Sunday for the Southeast Asian premiere of the Aung San Suu Kyi biopic The Lady, which was filmed in Thailand.
The festival also gave out its first Audience Award, and it went to a Thai film, It Gets Better (ไม่ได้ขอให้มารั, Mai Dai Kor Hai Ma Rak), indie director Tanwarin Sukhapisit's follow-up to the critically acclaimed but banned drama Insects in the Backyard. With intertwining storylines about transsexuals in love (among them veteran actress Penpak Sirikul playing an ageing transsexual), It Gets Better has similar themes as Insects but is apparently geared for more-mainstream approval, as evidenced by the Audience Award. It'll be released in Thai cinemas on February 14, Valentine's Day.
Film Business Asia has a final wrapup of its HHIFF coverage.
The festival had hoped to attract big-name stars for its red-carpet event. Jude Law had been mentioned as a possibility, but those rumors turned out to be false. Then when Drive star Ryan Gosling arrived in Thailand to start work on director Nicolas Winding Refn's latest effort Only God Forgives, the rumor mills cranked up again, and organizers were rewarded with an appearance by Gosling and Refn, and they took time to schmooze with the officials from the festival and National Federation of Film Associations of Thailand, among them Suwat Liptapanlop, the businessman and political figure who dreamed up the whole idea of the Hua Hin fest after he attended the Cannes Film Festival.
Coconuts Bangkok has more on the Gos getting mobbed and what he's doing here in Thailand.
In addition to Gosling, other Hollywood talent included Alex Meraz from The Twilight Saga, who took time out for an elephant ride.
Vietnamese star Johnny Nguyen, who lit up the red carpet at 2007's Bangkok International Film Festival, was back in Thailand to grace the Hua Hin fest and train at a local Muay Thai camp.
There's more photos and stuff at the festival's Facebook page.