Sunday, May 11, 2014

Celebrity-studded Thai short Clueless to have red-carpet premiere in New York

Clueless?, the award-winning comedy short directed by Byron Bishop, is part of the Soho International Film Festival in New York.

Winner of the best actress and best producer prizes at last year's 9FilmFest in Bangkok, Clueless? has been reworked for its "world premiere" screening in Soho, with a couple minutes added.

It's the story of a farmer who finds a dead body, then goes to the police to report it. However, the overzealous, bumbling detective treats the farmer as a suspect, sweating him in the interrogation room. Meanwhile, what's happening with that body?

Bishop and Sahajak "Poo" Boonthanakit, who portrayed the brutal police henchmen of the vigilante Chang in Only God Forgives, are again a pair of cops, but play their roles for laughs, with Sahajak as the egocentric Barney Fife and Bishop as a silent Andy Taylor, performing an evaluation. Instead of drawling, Bishop just writes key words on a notepad.

Daniel Le is the farmer with best-actress-winner Joy Villanueva as his wife. Producer Peter Alan Lloyd is the dead body. Bishop's wife, Former Miss Thailand World Cindy Bishop, appears as a "dream girl".

"We shot the film on less than $1,000, entirely on location in the rice fields and on the lakes of Nakon Nayok, using a host of novice actors, and a film crew from Mahidol University," says Lloyd, who produced Clueless? with Sahajak and Bishop. "I wrote the screenplay in less than 24 hours, we shot it in less than two days and had to hastily edit it. Byron had never directed a movie before, I had never written a screenplay and Poo, Byron and I had never produced a film before either, so we are excited and surprised by its success so far."

According to the Pattaya Mail, the story is inspired by the "unfortunately frequent real-life incidents of dead foreigners turning up in the tapioca fields outside Pattaya."

The gang will all walk the red carpet in New York for the screening on May 16, with Lloyd adding that actress-model Florence Faivre will join them. She made her debut in 2004's version of Tawipob, The Siam Renaissance, and also appeared in a few other films, including The Coffin and The Elephant King. She's lately been landing roles on American TV series.

Clueless? will screen alongside the indie Hollywood feature, Growing Uup and Other Lies, starring Adam Brody.

The SOHO International Film Festival runs from May 15 to 22 at the East Village Cinema.

The Clueless? crew on location in Nakhon Nayok.

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