Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kongdej's So Be It enters HAF 2014

Kongdej Jaturanrasee's next project So Be It is among the 25 projects chosen for the 12th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) at this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival. It's about two boys from different backgrounds and ways of life who seek answers when they enter into the Buddhist monkhood.

For Kongdej, the project looks to be continuing a thread he started pulling on with last year's teen drama Tang Wong, in examining various aspects of contemporary Thai culture. Here's more from the project description page (PDF):

To the surprise of his parents, seven-year-old William, a Thai-American boy, expresses his willingness to participate in a summer ordination project for a reality show.

Appearing in this reality show makes William a popular boy, followed by many fan clubs. After the reality show ends, though, William is still missing something and thinks of his own monk-teacher who took care of him when he was ordained. William asks permission from his parents to visit his monk-teacher at the hill tribe temple in the north of Thailand on his school holidays, in order to experience his Buddha dharma way of life again. Finally, William tells his parents that he would like to become a monk for life.

Bundit, a 11-year-old hill tribe boy, belongs to a minority group which resides at Tak province (on the border of Thailand). He is sent to stay at Wat Sa-keaw, in Angthong province with other 2,000 children to study and obtain a better life. He is forced to spend his life near Buddhism, but has no chance to stay with his family. To survive among over 2,000 children is not easy. For Bundit, staying in temple everyday trains his discipline, which is not really different from that of a soldier in the military. And to be ordained, for him, is another way to seek happiness and a better material. On this school holiday, Bundit has an opportunity to go back to visit his home where he has not returned for over five years.

So Be It is produced by Soros Sukhum and Auttapon Na-Bangchang, an exec at Thailand's biggest cable-TV company TrueVisions.

The project has also been picked up for distribution by Mosquito Films Distribution, the new shingle started by Soros and a bunch of other well-known Thai indie filmmakers.

Film Business Asia has more on HAF.

HAF runs from March 24 to 26 during the HKIFF, March 24 to April 7.

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