It's supposedly illegal for the banned film to even be shown outside Thailand, but according to Screen Daily, the filmmakers skirted the ban by shipping it under a different name. Ing K explains:
“I thank CinDi for inviting my film even though they had to ship it under a secret name – Teenage Love Story – because the film is banned in Thailand, where people live in fear. I’m suing the government so I shouldn’t even be here,” the director said at the opening ceremony.
She continued: “We are fighting because in Thailand, directors have less than human rights. But I promise Shakespeare Must Die is not boring. I made it like a Mexican soap opera and a Thai horror film. You can see it, even though Thai people can’t see it.”
Listed on the festival website, with a running length of 172 minutes, Shakespeare Must Die made its world premiere.
The story deals with a fictional country's dictator who rose to power by killing the king. Although Ing K. has denied it, the dictator character is generally thought to be a stand-in for Thaksin Shinawatra, the telecommications tycoon and populist politician who was ousted from the Thai premiership in a military coup in 2006. The movie was funded by the Culture Ministry's Strong Thailand initiative, but that was under the government put in power by the coup-makers and royalists. Now the premiership is held by Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's sister, who was elected to the post a year ago.
Also in competition at CinDi is another politically tinged work, Wichanon Sumumjarn's In April the Following Year, There Was a Fire, in which a guy loses his job in Bangkok due to the political instability and moves back upcountry.
The festival also featured Apichatpong Weerasethakul's online short Ashes, which was also recently shown at the Thai Short Film and Video Festival.
The Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival opened on August 22 and ends today.