|Apichatpong is flanked by Tony Nagamiah of Malaysia Major Events and Joe Sidek of Tropfest SEA.|
Apichatpong Weerasethakul has been appointed "ambassador" of Tropfest Southeast Asia ahead of the inaugural regional edition of the short-film competition, which is set for January 25 in George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Here's more from a press release:
The celebrated Thai independent film director, screenwriter and producer will attend Tropfest SEA's festival day on 25 January. He joins a distinguished judging panel at the live judging ceremony, including Tropfest founder John Polson.
Weerasethakul is the first of Tropfest's regional Ambassadors who will be announced in the weeks leading up to the festival.
The support and involvement of film personalities around the world is one of the trademarks of the festival, as seen in Tropfest editions in Australia, New Zealand, Arabia, and United States. Southeast Asia is Tropfest's newest edition.
Weerasethakul is currently developing a multi-platform feature film with Illuminations Films in London, Primitive, about a sleeping sickness in a small town near the Mekong River in Thailand. His work as a visual artist has seen participation in international exhibitions and galleries including at prestigious biennale dOKUMENTA (13) in Kassel and at the Sharjah Biennial. His recent solo art exhibition Photophobia in Oslo, Norway was unveiled in November; exhibitions in London and Mexico City are scheduled for 2014.
"We are honoured to have Weerasethakul's support to represent narratives and personalities for our region. His journey as an independent filmmaker and winning the 63rd Cannes Film Festival's highest award, the Palme d'Or, is an inspiration to us; similarly, his support for independent filmmakers and experimental film works," said Tropfest SEA managing director, Joe Sidek.
"Adding to Malaysia as the first ever country to host Tropfest South East Asia in January 2014 is Weerasethakul's engagement and involvement in Tropfest's debut. This is a big boost for the event's programme which will also add value to the international promotions of the event. Hopefully, with such an Ambassador, the profile of Malaysia as an exciting hub for creativity, arts, lifestyle and entertainment events will also increase exponentially," added Tony Nagamaiah, general manager of Malaysia Major Events (MME).