Thursday, March 6, 2014

Salaya Doc 2014: Premieres set for Songs of Rice, Missing Picture

Just two weeks away, the fourth Salaya International Documentary Film Festival is still coming together, but festival organizers have a few confirmed entries, among them the Thai premieres for the Rotterdam award-winner The Songs of Rice and the Oscar-nominated Best Foreign Language Film The Missing Picture.

The opening film will be At Berkeley, a brand-new work by documentarian Frederic Wiseman. Running for four hours, it chronicles the debate over tuition increases and budget cuts at the University of California at Berkeley.

The Songs of Rice, the latest feature by Agrarian Utopia director Urupong Raksasad, will be the closing film. It was among a big crop of Thai films at this year's International Film Festival Rotterdam, where it made its world premiere and was given the Fipresci Award.

The Missing Picture, the first Foreign Language Film nominee for Cambodia at the Academy Awards, is the latest work by Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh to examine the legacy of the Khmer Rouge. It combines archival footage and uses clay figures of his vanished family members in a bid to reconstruct fading memories. It makes its Thai premiere in a special screening.

Another special screening will be Receiving Torpedo Boat (การรับเรือตอร์ปิโด), 1935 footage by pioneering Thai cinematographer Luang Kolakarn Jan-Jit (Pao Wasuwat) about the Royal Thai Navy going to Italy to acquire two torpedo boats. The film was added last year to the Registry of Films as National Heritage.

The Director in Focus this year is Kazuhiro Soda, with screenings of two of his films, Campaign and Campaign 2
There will also be a selection of UK-produced documentaries co-presented by the British Council – Rough Aunties, Requiem for Detroit, Moving to Mars and Soundtrack for a Revolution.

Details are still being hammered out on the entries in this year's Southeast Asian documentary competition.

The fest runs from March 22 to 29 at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom with a concurrent program at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center from March 25 to 28 and March 30.

For more details, keep an eye on Salaya Doc's Facebook page.

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