Friday, February 10, 2006

Sia Jiang quits film association

With tears in his eyes as he made the announcement, Somsak "Sia Jiang" Techaratanaprasert yesterday resigned as head of the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand.

The Nation has the report on its front page today.

"If people think I make trouble for the federation, why should I stay?" Somsak said at the meeting held at the SC Park Hotel attended by more than 200 industry people.

Somsak, who is also president of Sahamongkol Film, had headed the federation for three and a half years.

Somsak's resignation comes after he called for the federation to boycott the Bangkok Interational Film Festival, citing a failure on the part of the festival organizer, the Tourism Authority of Thailand to properly consult the federation about festival arrangements.

"The TAT is behind the conflict. They should take responsibility," he told yesterday's news conference.

Three major studios – GTH, Five Star Production and RS Promotion – objected to the boycott and withdrew from the federation.

The federation’s secretary Chaiwat Taveewongsangthong will act as caretaker president for 30 days until the federation holds a new election.

"People say I'm like a mafia boss and the federation's committee members are my people. Do you believe that I can control all of them? Think about it, they are well respected people who are elected to work for the Thai film industry," Somsak told the news conference.

His family, however, welcomed his resignation.

"I'm glad that he has quit because he was too busy working for the federation and had no time to work for his company. It's hard for him to please everyone while wearing two hats," Somsak’s daughter, Awika, was quoted as saying.

For a look at the boycott saga so far, Kaiju Shakedown has a nice summary, and ThaiCinema has been covering the issue as well.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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