Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Vanishing Point takes top prize at Rotterdam

Jakrawal Nilthramrong, left, with fellow Tiger Award winners Carlos M. Quintela and Juan Daniel F. Molero and International Film Festival Rotterdam director Rutger Wolfson.

Vanishing Point (วานิชชิ่ง พอยท์), the debut full-length feature from director Jakrawal Nilthamrong, was among the winners of the Hivos Tiger Award at the 44th International Film Festival Rotterdam, which wrapped up on Sunday.

The film, which is in no way related to the cult-classic 1971 car-chase movie of the same name, is a partly autobiographical experimental drama, which touches on a horrific car crash Jakrawal's parents were involved in. It then branches out with a pair of stories, one about a young reporter who attends crime-scene reconstructions, and the other about the owner of a sleazy hotel who watches guests on hidden-camera monitors.

Here is the statement from the IFFR press release:

The Hivos Tiger Awards Competition jury was comprised of writer, director and producer Rolf de Heer, producer Ichiyama Shozo, director Maja Miloš, art photographer and director of Spanish Film Archive Jose Maria Prado Garcia and actress Johanna ter Steege. On making their decision they commented "In dealing with both living and broken dreams, La Obra Del Siglo (Carlos M. Quintela) confronts themes both intimate and epic. With its wonderful performances, with its humour and poignancy and boldness of execution, the film resonates with history. Vanishing Point (Jakrawal Nilthamrong) combines and juxtaposes image and sound to create a powerful style. It grapples with ideas and story-telling in a provoking and different way, making it a visceral cinematic experience. Juan Daniel F. Molero’s Videophilia and other Viral Syndromes) explores the relationship between the young and the rapidly changing world with unflinching truth. Its anarchy and visual flair reflect its subject matter. The film dives deep into disturbing, necessary waters."

This is the fourth Thai film to be honored with Rotterdam's top prize, which usually goes to debut features. Others have been Aditya Assarat's Wonderful Town in 2008, Anocha Suwichakornpong's Mundane History in 2010 and Sivaroj Kongsakul with Eternity (Tee Rak) in 2011.

Jakrawal has been a long-time attendee at Rotterdam, where his graduation project from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Patterns of Transcendence was screened. He was later selected to take part the IFFR's Forget Africa project, which paired Asian film talents with African directors. That resulted in the mid-length experimental effort Unreal Forest.

There's more about Jakrawal's big win in The Nation today.

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