Friday, May 31, 2013

Terracotta Far East Film Festival has Countdown, Karaoke Girl

Countdown and Karaoke Girl, two Thai fixtures of this year's festival circuit continue to make their way around the world, hitting London at next week's Terracotta Far East Film Festival.

Countdown, a big winner during awards season in Thailand, as well as at that other Far East Film Festival, screens at Terracotta as part of the fest's Horror All-Nighter (it'll also be at NYAFF). Directed by Nattawut Poonpiriya, it's the story of three young Thais living in a New York City apartment who want to get their weed on for New Year's Eve. They are visited by a dealer named Jesus who is going to do considerably more than just sell them a few joints.

And there's more to it than that, says the festival page:

Over recent years, Thailand has shown itself as a serious hotbed for horror that has suffered in the international market due to subject matter being based on very local beliefs that are unlikely to scare a Western audience. Countdown avoids these pitfalls largely because it is set in New York and has a lot of English dialogue but also because it keeps the audience guessing all along as it evolves from stoner comedy to claustrophobic home-invasion right up to head-spinning game changer.

Karaoke Girl is in the Current Asian Cinema section. The debut feature by indie director Visra Vichit Vadakan, Karaoke Girl is drawn from the actual experiences of the film's star, threading memories of her rural childhood with the complicated reality of her urban life, working as a bar hostess to support her family back home. It premiered earlier this year in competition in Rotterdam and was featured in Helsinki and probably some other festivals.

In all, there's 27 films, including a Spotlight on Indonesia. The Terracotta Far East Film Festival runs from June 6 to 15 at the Prince Charles Cinema and ICA in London.

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