Countdown, a psychological thriller that bottles up three young Thais with an unhinged drug dealer in a New York apartment, returns to its spiritual home next month. It's among the first titles announced over the weekend for this year's New York Asian Film Festival.
Directed by Nattawat "Baz" Poonpiriya, Countdown had its origins in a 45-minute short that Nattawat made as a student in the Big Apple. It screened at the 2010 Thai Short Film and Video Festival. It starred David Asavanond as the goateed dealer named Jesus who stops by to peddle joints to three Thai hipsters in their New York apartment. He ends up overstaying his welcome and making their life miserable.
GTH then picked it up and got Nattawat to expand it into a feature, still with Asavanond, but sneakily billing his showy performance as a supporting role, with young GTH stock company players Pachara Chirathivat, Patarasaya Krueasuwansiri and Jarinporn Junkiet starring as the dope-smoking hipsters.
Before Pee Mak Phra Khanong came in this year and scooped up 600-million-baht worth of box-office takings, one of the GTH studio's most successful movies was Countdown, which was a commercial hit of last year and a big winner in this year's awards season in Thailand.
It narrowly missed the top-prize Audience Award at the recent Udine Far East Film Festival.
So now Countdown returns to New York, as part of the 12th New York Asian Film Festival,
Other recently announced NYAFF highlights include the North American premiere Jay Chou's martial arts musical romance The Rooftop as the Closing Night film, Sion Sono’s and Tokyo GAGAGA’s Bad Film, Hideo Nakata’s The Complex, Takashi Miike’s Lesson to the Evil and other Udine winner, Herman Yau's Ip Man: The Final Fight.
There are also three special focuses in this year's lineup: Hong Kong Cinema Now and Beyond!, Taiwan Pulp! – Tales of Gangsters, Female Avengers and Ninjas! and a spotlight on distributor Well Go USA.
Head on over to the festival's blog for more details. The 12th New York Asian Film Festival runs from June 28 to July 15.