Saturday, November 1, 2008

4bia scares up Audience Award at Toronto After Dark

GMM Tai Hub's four-part horror omnibus 4bia continues to wow festival crowds, most recently at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

The awards have finally been announced, and 4bia won the third-place bronze Audience Award for Best Feature, coming in behind the Swedish vampire flick Let the Right One In and Repo: The Genetic Opera. (By the way, I missed Let the Right One In at the Bangkok International Film Festival and I guess I have myself to blame for my failure to Google every single film that was showing. But I never heard the magic words, "Swedish vampire flick". There was no buzz about it, at least none that I heard.)

Earlier this year, 4bia won a similiar award at the Fantasia Festival in Montreal. The film features four segments, each by a filmmaker from GMM Tai Hub's family -- veteran producer-director Yongyoot Thongkongtoon making his first and likely only stab at horror, and three younger directors, the Shutter/Alone duo of Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom, and Body #19 helmer Paween Purijitpanya. Each segment explores a different fear, and the moods alternate from subtle, creeping thrills to shocking gore, self-deprecating humor and rage.

Positive reception from 4bia's Toronto appearance includes an entertaining review by Mack at Twitch, who compares Yongyoot to Obi-wan Kenobi and his three young pupils to Darth Vader. Movie Moxie has a capsule review, noting "it's a beautiful thing when a film can make seamless transitions from scares to laughs and back again."

Earlier, 4bia was released in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and played at the Bangkok International and Pusan fests. It's set for the Hungry Ghosts program at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and is one of the top-grossing homegrown films in Thailand.

And there is more great horror from the GTH folks with Coming Soon, the directorial debut of Sophon Sakdaphisit, the co-writer of Shutter and Alone.

Movie Moxie, Twitch)

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