Friday, April 16, 2004

Thailand's Sundance

Yet another film festival is in the works for Bangkok, which already has the government-sanctioned Bangkok International Film Festival and the World Film Festival of Bangkok, sponsored by The Nation newspaper.

Brian Bennett, former organizer of the Bangkok Film Festival (which morphed into the Bangkok International Film Festival) is back with a new edition of the Bangkok Film Festival.

According to an article in The Nation, he sees his festival as a sort of Sundance for Thailand, featuring independent films.

The Bangkok Film Festival will be held at the Emporium from April 29 to May 9, with a Video Film Festival at the Dusit Thani Hotel from May 13 to 16.

This is good news for film lovers, as it gives a wider choice of films to see during the course of the year.

In addition to the already mentioned festivals, the European Union sponsors a festival, as does the British Embassy. The Goethe Institut puts on regular screenings of German films, and I expect the Alliance France to start offering films again at some point. The Japan Foundation has regular screenings, but most of those films are only subtitled in Thai.

I hope Mr Bennett's latest festival will be better organized than the last one he organized in 2002. At that one, constantly changing schedules made it impossible for me to budget my time in order to see any of the films. It's fine if you're on vacation or are a freelancer with no fixed schedule, but if you're a working man like me who has a specific window of time, being able to plan and have reserved tickets is a must.

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