Saturday, July 19, 2008

Phuket Film Festival on hiatus until June 2009

The coming months are going to busy ones for film lovers in Thailand. There are festivals, festivals and more festivals. August has the Thai Short Film & Video Festival. September has the Bangkok International Film Festival. And the World Film Festival of Bangkok is being held at the end of October.

Last year, the inaugural Phuket Film Festival was held in October, but the second edition of that festival won't be held this year. Organizer Scott Rosenberg says he's taking a hiatus, given the already tight regional filmgoing calendar - Pusan is happening around that time too - and the dismal outlook for Thailand's tourism-based economy.

Tentatively, dates for the next Phuket Film Festival have been set for June 4 to 11, 2009. "I have always advised that the beginning of June is the best time for a film festival in Thailand," Scott says in an e-mail. "Cannes is just ending and many film industry folk slip into the high-end spas in the Kingdom to chill anyway."

Also, the Shanghai International Film Festival is in mid-June, so more film-festival professionals might swing through Thailand "as they make the circuit".

Additionally, the Phuket Film Festival might move to the Coliseum Cinemas in Phuket town, instead of being held at Jungceylon on Patong Beach. The plan is to show around 50 to 60 features, documentaries and shorts, with an alternative lifestyle section, Scott says. There will be a focus on film preservation and as well as new section on networking between Thailand's film production services and film-industry VIPs with an aim towards showing off filming locations in Phuket and southern Thailand.

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