The latest is an initiative called Keeta Maha Raja Niphon (คีตราชนิพนธ์), which commemorates the 50th anniversary of His Majesty the King's honorary induction into the Vienna Institute of Music and Arts. Sponsored by Singha Corporation, the project rounded up four directors, who chose songs composed by His Majesty as the basis for short films.
Taking part are Thai New Wave stalwart Nonzee Nimibutr, young TV-advert director Wallop Prasopphol, Shutter and Alone co-director Parkpoom Wongpoom and another veteran helmer, Yongyoot Thongkongtoon.
Nonzee chose the song "H.M. Blues" for his short The Singers, which stars veteran actress Wassana Chalakorn as an ageing mother who runs away from her bickering grown-up kids. She encounters a formerly famous singer (Neeranuch Patamasut) and tries to coax her back to the public eye.
Wallop directs Yim Soo, based on the song of the same name. His tale is of an expressionless schoolboy who is likely in the autism spectrum, and is bullied because of it. He tries to force himself out of his shell and impress a girl by acting in the school play.
Parkpoom, meanwhile, picked the song "Sai Fon" ("Falling Rain") for his biographical short about the late conservationist Seub Nakhasathien, whose death in 1990 brought to light his struggles to protect endangered species and natural areas. Sueb is portrayed by Nopachai “Peter” Jayanama, an estimable talent who appears to embody the determined forest ranger.
Yongyoot directs the closing entry, Dao, which is inspired by the patriotic song “Kwam Fun Un Sung Sud” (“The Impossible Dream”). It's the portrait of a Boy Scout who wants to be chosen to raise the flag at school, a job that's reserved for only the best-behaved students.
Top talents from the music industry were also drafted to take part, with singer-actress Neeranuch contributing a version of "H.M. Blues" with rock vocalist and TV-talent judge Thanida “Da Endorphine” Thamawimol cutting an alternative take. Prakarn Raiwa from the band Getsunova sings “Yim Soo” while veteran pop singer Anchalee Chongkadekij covers “Sai Fon”. Singer-actor Saharat “Kong Nuvo” Sangkhapreecha performs “Khwam Fan Un Sung Sud”.
The films will be shown for free at various Major Cineplex branches, including Paragon, from this Thursday to Sunday, May 7 to 10. Seats have already filled up for several screenings and reservations are a must. To reserve your seat, check this special website, perhaps with the assistance of a Thai friend.
You can find out more about the project from an article in The Nation today. There's also a Facebook page and a YouTube channel, which includes music videos and a trailer that's embedded below.