Thai Film Festival U.K., which runs from June 25 to 27 at the Princess Anne Theatre at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Piccadilly, London, home of the Bafta Awards.
A mix of mainstream commercial features, including action and horror, as well as animation plus an independent drama and a documentary, the Thai Film Festival will open with the GTH studio's award-winning drama The Teacher's Diary (คิดถึงวิทยา, Kid Tueng Wittaya), directed by Nitiwat Taratorn starring actress "Ploy" Chermarn Boonyasak, who will both be present for the screening.
Another award-winning entry is indie director Lee Chatametikool's drama Concrete Clouds (ภวังค์รัก, Phawang Rak), which is also part of the Thai Indie Fest being put on by U.K. distributor Day for Night.
Londoners will also get the latest adaptation of Plae Kao (แผลเก่า, a.k.a. The Scar), a Thai literary classic by Mai Muengderm. A star-crossed romance set in suburban Bangkok in the 1930s, it has been adapted many times for film and TV, with Cherd Songsri's 1977 feature being the best regarded. But last year, dramatist and frequent movie-remaker ML Bhandevanov "Mom Noi" Devakula offered his own interpretation, with fresh-faced stars Chaiyapol Julian Pupart from Mom Noi's Jan Dara remake and Davika Hoorne from Pee Mak Phra Khanong as the leads. According to The Nation, Mom Noi has created an "international version" for the London screening, which adds 45 more minutes to the cut that was released in Thai cinemas last August.
Genre-film fans will be paid service with martial-arts star Tony Jaa's swan song with the Sahamongkol studio, Tom-Yum-Goong 2, and from Five Star Production, there's director Tiwa Methaisong's supernatural horror thriller Ghost Coins (เกมปลุกผี, Game Plook Phi).
The painstaking efforts by Thailand's animation industry are featured in The Story of Mahajanaka (พระมหา ชนก ), an adaptation of a devotional tale written by His Majesty the King.
Finally, there's a more-grounded look at contemporary Thai life in Krisda Tipchaimeta's critically hailed documentary Somboon (ปู่สมบรูณ์, Poo Somboon), which follow the extraordinary efforts of an ordinary elderly gentleman as he provides round-the-clock care for his chronically ailing wife of 45 years.
The film fest is part of the Totally Thai celebrations, put together by MiniCult in honor of the 60th birthday of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Other activities include a classical dance show at Royal Albert Hall tomorrow night – 130 years after a historic khon performance there for Queen Victoria – and Thailand Eye, a contemporary art exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in November and December.
The film festival is free, but reservations are required. Check Facebook for more details.