Monday, January 28, 2008

Two Thai shorts win jury prizes at 2nd Bangkok International Children's Film Festival

A 17-minute documentary about HIV-positive teens and a 3D animated short were the Thai winners in the short-films competition at the 2nd Bangkok International Children's Film Festival, which ran over the past two weekends at Major Cineplex Pinklao, and at TK Park at CentralWorld in Bangkok.

The winners, as chosen by the seven-member, teenaged jury, were named on Saturday. They are:
  • Best live action: The Crystal Palace by Tove Cecilie Severdrup and Sunniva Nervik (Norway) - A boy who has recently lost his grandmother befriends an old woman i a retirement home and discovers she has a secret.
  • Best animation: The Goat That Ate Time by Lucinda Schreiber (Australia) - Goats will eat anything, including watches, grandfather clocks, the Big Ben, and the concept of time itself.
  • Jury prize, live action: The Thief by Irina Boiko (Greece) - A little boy learns there are rewards for being honest after he and a neighborhood girl break into a veterinary office and steal a bunch of stuff.
  • Jury prize, live action: Posi+ive by Youth Volunteers of the AIDS Access Foundation (Thailand) - This is a very moving documentary about four HIV-positive teens living in northern Thailand.
  • Jury prize, animation: Holly Gets Even by Marika Heideback (Sweden) - This stop-motion claymation work set in an innercity involves a girl basketball player who breaks down and cries after her trousers are pulled down by a neighborhood boy while she is shooting hoops.
  • Jury prize, animation: Pla Mee Kon (A Little Piece of Memory) by Sittisak Jiampotjaman (Thailand) - A boy opens a book about ocean life and finds that sea critters are swimming all around him. He nurtures an interest in marine life into adulthood, but it only takes him as far as being a security guard at an aquarium, which has made him bored and jaded. It takes silly questions from some pint-sized, trouble-making visitors to the aquarium for him to recapture his enjoyment.
After the awards ceremony, all the winning shorts were shown. In attendance was young star Charlie “Nat” Trairat of Fan Chan and Dorm. Aged 15 now, he's taller than I am and is starting to grow a moustache. He stayed to watch Once Upon a Time ... This Morning, a 1995 drama in which he made his screen debut. Perhaps 1 or 2 years old at the time, he played a toddler, and the youngest of three siblings from a broken home who hit the road looking for their father (Santisuk Promsiri) because they don't want to live with their mother (Jintara Sukapat). Also present for that screening was Ronnaroo "Fiat" Buranute, who played the charismatic leader of a gang of homeless boys who come to the aid of the sister and her two younger brothers.

In all, 21 short films and 10 feature films were shown, including Hula Girls and Helen the Baby Fox from Japan, Ice Bar and Little Brother from South Korea, and Akeelah and the Bee from the US. Some of the films featured live dubbing in Thai, to aid the younger viewers who were unable to read the subtitles. The festival was organized by the Thai Film Foundation and the Office of Knowledge Management and Development.

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