Friday, August 11, 2006

The 10th Thai Short Film and Video Festival

Everything's happening at once here in Bangkok, where not only is there mini-buffet of Myanmar films screening, there's the two-week long 10th Thai Short Film and Video Festival, running this year at the Pridi Banomyong Institute on Soi Thong Lor.

Organized by Chalida Uabumrungjit of the Thai Film Foundation, the festival has grown over the years from 30 films in 1997 to more than 300 this year. It is now one of at least five short-film events in Bangkok.

Highlights include this year's crop of 3 Digital Short Films by Three Filmmakers, with shorts by Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Darezhan Omirbayev from Kazakhstan, and Singapore's Eric Khoo. The films were made for the annual short films package sponsored by the Jeonju International Film Festival.

Pen-ek's is Twelve Twenty, adapted from a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel about the silent romance of a couple (Ananda Everingham and Kemabsorn Sirisukha) after the man spots the woman from across an airport lobby. Pen-ek's frequent collaborator, Christopher Doyle, figures into the mix somehow. They will be screened at 7pm from August 28 to 30 at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit. Tickets are 150 baht.

There will also be Graceland, the first Thai short film selected for the Cannes Film Festival's Cinefondation program. Directed for her Columbia University thesis, the movie is by Anocha Suwichakornpong and stars Sarawut Martthong as an Elvis impersonator who is driven into the countryside by a strange woman (Jelaralin Chanchoenglop). Two of Anocha's other films will also be shown for the first time in Thailand: Ghosts from 2005 and Full Moon from 2003. The screenings are at 7.30pm on August 19 at Pridi Banomyoung.

Other highlights include a selection of classic Japanese documentaries in Cinema with a Conscience at 1pm and 3pm on August 26 and 27 at the Japan Foundation on Soi Asok and on September 2 and 3 at Chulalongkorn University Communication Arts Faculty. Admission is free.

A marathon screening, along with a reunion of directors from festival's past 10 years, will take place during the Long Night of Shorts from around 6pm to 2am on August 26 at the Pridi Banomyong Institute.

There are also some British shorts, including the animated City Paradise by Gaelle Dennis, at 7.30pm on August 20 at Pridi Banomyong, and a second program, Landscapes in My Head at 8pm on August 24.

For more information, check out Kong Rithdee's story in today's Bangkok Post or pick up a copy of The Nation Weekend, which didn't put its stories online for some reason or another.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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