Along with the return of the Thai Pitch event at the Cannes Film Festival, this Saturday, May 18, is also the date for the Thai film industry's glitzy annual Thai Night celebration.
And, despite there being no entries from Thai directors in this year's festival, the bigwigs feel they have much to celebrate, as detailed in this press release:
Presided by Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, Thai Night Cannes 2013 will be the occasion to celebrate another banner year for the Thai film industry.
Entirely shot in Thailand, Nicolas Winding Refn's new thriller Only God Forgives, one of the most anticipated films of the year, will premiere at the festival in official competition. The film features veteran Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm and pop star Yaya Ying alongside Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott-Thomas.
Another highlight of the past year is the Chinese film Lost in Thailand, written and directed by Xu Zheng. Shot in Thailand with the financial support of the Thai Ministry of Tourism, the comedy went on to become the highest grossing Chinese film of all time, netting over $200 million in China alone, where it beat the previous records held by Avatar and Titanic in numbers of tickets sold. Abe Kwong, producer of Lost in Thailand, will be at Thai Night to share this extraordinary success story.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. In 2012, Thailand hosted 53 international film productions, a 45 percent increase over 2011 and an absolute record for the country.
This remarkable growth is not only due to the country's breathtaking sceneries, the world class quality of its hospitality services and its competitive production costs. In recent years, the local film industry has gone through a rapid period of modernization and internationalization, and now offers among the most skilled film crews and technical services available in Asia.
The local industry's coming of age is also apparent in the rising strength of Thai cinema itself, which boasts critically-acclaimed auteurs such as Palme d'Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul along with a new wave of genre directors such as Chookiat Sakveerakul, whose high concept thriller 13: Game of Death is being given Hollywood remake treatment by Daniel Stamm under the title Angry Little God, and Banjong Pisanthanakun, director of the brand new horror-comedy Pee Mak Phra Khanong, which is smashing all records at the Thai box office.
All these accomplishments will be at the centre of Thai Night 2013 - Where Films Come Alive, an exclusive event organized by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), an agency of the Royal Thai Ministry Of Commerce, during the Cannes Film Festival.
Thai Night Cannes 2013 will be held in Cannes on Saturday May 18th, 2012 at 6pm.