Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Titles tipped for Film Destination Festival

More details have been revealed about the Thailand International Film Destination Festival, which only emerged from the planning stages about a week ago.

Set for April 1 to 10, the venue has been confirmed as SF World Cinema at CentralWorld in Bangkok.

Films to be screened include such made-in-Thailand blockbusters as The Hangover Part II, Danny Boyle's The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio, Luc Besson's Aung San Suu Kyi biopic The Lady starring Michelle Yeoh and the low-budget Chinese box-office surprise Lost in Thailand. There will also be Fabrice du Welz' weird 2009 thriller Vinyan, filmed in Phuket and starring Emmanuelle Beart. All those have screened before in Thailand.

Local premieres will include Formosa Betrayed, which has Thailand standing in for 1980s Taiwan, the Danish romantic comedy Teddy Bear and Lukas Moodysson's globalization drama Mammoth starring Gael García Bernal and Michelle Williams.

And, although it's been out on DVD for awhile, Elephant White will make its Thai theatrical premiere. Director Prachya Pinkaew's Hollywood debut stars Djimon Hounsou as an assassin hiding out in Bangkok. While holed up in a Buddhist temple, he takes on the job of protecting a mysterious woman and runs into conflict with a former friend, played by an oddly accented Kevin Bacon.

April 9 has been designated Pang Brothers Day, dedicated to the Hong Kong filmmaking twin brothers Danny and Oxide, who got their start in the film industry in Thailand in the late 1990s. Now back in Hong Kong, they continue to use Thailand as a filming location and setting as they also continue to favor the Bangkok post-production houses for all their films. Among the movies to be screened will be the 2007 crime thriller The Detective, featuring Aaron Kwok as a downtrodden private investigator in Bangkok's Chinatown. It features a rare car chase through the traffic-clogged streets of Bangkok.

Generously budgeted at around 80 million baht and organized by the Thailand Film Office under the Department of Tourism, the Destination festival's centerpiece is the Amazing Thailand Film Challenge, which has flown in 48 foreign teams to compete with two Thai teams for a grand prize of 1 million baht. They will have just about one week to find a subject, film it and edit their shorts for completion by the April 8 deadline. Winners will be announced at the celebrity festooned red-carpet closing ceremony on April 10.

The schedule has yet to be released, but keep checking the festival website in case, you know, you actually think you might want to see some films at this film festival.

Unfortunately, due to the hasty planning, the Destination organizers not only don't have a lot of time to promote their festival, they overlooked the fact that their event conflicts with another film festival, Salaya Doc 2013, which runs from April 1 to 7 at the Thai Film Archive and from April 2 to 7 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center.

(Via The Nation)

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