|A still from Lublae, the one-minute leader by Anocha Sukwichakornpong.|
The International Film Festival Rotterdam is now underway. As always, it's an important platform for Thai independent filmmakers.
In addition to two features – Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit's 36 and Visra Vichit-Vadakan's Karaoke Girl in the main Tiger Awards competition plus Pimpaka Towira's single-shot funeral The Mother in the Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films – there are several other Thai shorts.
There's a special one-minute leader that will precede each HBF Harvest film at IFFR, Lublae, a weird sci-fi short directed by a past Tiger Award winner, Mundane History's Anocha Suwichakornpong.
Here's more about it from the festival website:
Lublae is a district in northern Thailand that used to be known as the "hidden" land, due to its remote location; "lub" means "hidden" in Thai. Others say that Lublae is a derivative of Lublang, the name of the forest in the area. "Lang" means "evening" in the language of Lanna (an old kingdom in present-day northern Thailand) as the forest was so dense, it often got dark before sunset. Legend has it that the residents of Lublae were all women and that they tolerated no lies, no matter how small.
The ten women who appear in Lublae are friends of the director, all of whom work in the arts: among them are a film director, an architect, an actress. They walk through a field, torches in hand, searching for something. The beams of light from their torches briefly illuminate the soon-to-be dark landscape. The director likes to think of them as modern-day usherettes – while these ten women may be searchers, they also show us the way.
Watch it online at the IFFR website.
Anocha is also taking part in the Spectrum Shorts program with fellow Electric Eel and IFFR veteran Wichanon Sumumjarn (In April the Following Year, There was a Fire). Together they present Overseas, a 16-minute short in the Leaving Traces program. It's about a young Burmese woman working in a seafood-packing factory who is faced with pretty serious dilemma.
Another IFFR vet, Jakwaral Nilthamrong (Unreal Forest) presents Zero Gravity, a "visually and dramatically complex story set simultaneously in the present and the past, [which] returns to where a bizarre hostage situation ended in blood over 10 years ago. Almost every conflict in or on the border of Thailand seems to be dealt with."
Also of Thailand interest is Poor Folk, Myanmar-Taiwan-based Midi Z's followup to Return to Burma. It's a look at lawlessness along the Thai-Myanmar border and follows a guy as he's trafficked to Bangkok to begin a life of crime.
The International Film Festival Rotterdam runs through February 3.