Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Remembering the Tsunami

We're fast coming up on the one-year anniversary of the December 26, 2004 tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean region.

In Thailand, the disaster has been remembered by filmmakers, who produced the Tsunami Digital Short Films, which premiered back in October at the World Film Festival of Bangkok.

The films will be shown in Phuket - which was hit hard by the tsunami - on December 24 and 25 at SFX Coliseum Cinema at Central Festival Phuket. In addition, 15 short films produced by youths who reside in Trang and Phuket will be shown. These were made in the Short Film Production Youth Camp organised by Office of Contempoary Art and Culture and the Thai Film Foundation. This programme will be screened at 6pm on Christmas Day. Tickets are Bt90. All proceeds go to tsunami relief efforts.

Bangkok has a bigger event going on over the holiday weekend - the Fourth Experimental Film Festival, in which a staggering number of short films and feature films will be shown in Lumpini Park from 5pm to 9pm from December 23 to 25.

The Tsunami Digital Short Films will be shown on Sunday. Friday and Saturday there will be a retrospective of Anna Sanders Films. Other programmes include Bangkok Utopia, Thai Experimental, Thai Indie, Art+Film, MTV+POP Culture & Anima(sta)tion, Experimental Narrative and Travelogue.

There's the usual names in Thai avant garde cinema: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thunska Pansittivorakul and Michael Shaowanasai. Noi Sukosol Clapp from Bangkok Loco offers something called Time Traveller in Saturday's Bangkok Utopia screening.

In addition to the outdoor screenings at Lumpini, there will be a program on "Xtreme Film" from 2pm to 8pm on Saturday, December 24, at the 14 Ocober 1973 Memorial on Rajdamnoen Avenue, near Tanao Road and Khao San.

It'll include a discussion with filmmakers Thunska, Michael, Tuan Andrew Nguyen and film archivist Dome Sukwong, facilitated by the Thai Film Foundation’s Chalida Uabamrunjit.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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