Monday, November 9, 2009

WFFBKK '09: Thunska is everywhere

Although his documentary This Area Is Under Quarantine has been banned from screening, director Thunska Pansittivorakul is still a part of the 7th World Film Festival of Bangkok.

He attended the opening-night film Mundane History and appears in Lost Nation, the debut feature by his Thai Indie colleague Zart Tancharoen, who has served under Thunska as an assistant director.

Also, Thunska's 2005 short Aftershock is showing as part of the Tsunami Digital Short Films in the Pioneer home-theater box that's set up in the lobby of Paragon Cineplex.

Quarantine remained on the festival's schedule because the ban came after brochures had already been printed up, but it was finally blanked over on the schedule boards near the festival's information table. The festival has not scheduled another film to run in that time slot at 9pm on Tuesday.

Festival administrator Dusit Silakong says he's still hoping to organize some sort of forum after the festival in which the reasons for the ban can be calmly discussed and a solution found so that no more films will be banned.

But filmmakers are pretty upset.

And Thunska is undaunted. He has completed another feature, his first feature-length fiction film Reincarnate.

He talked to Global Post. Here's an excerpt:

Right now, there’s a huge push from the government to approve movies that preserve Thailand’s good image,” said Thunksa. “The truth is, I’m not trying to tear down the country. I’m just presenting the truth.”

In protest, Thunksa and other directors are now collaborating on a film specifically written to earn the most severe rating possible from the Ministry of Culture, he said.


  1. Another film My Rohingya (Theatre 9, last day, last screening) was canceled too. Kriengsak "Viktor" Silakong told me that the film is not completed yet.

  2. Yes, I knew about My Rohingya. It still appears on some early versions of the schedule. It's a documentary by Pipope Panitchpakdi of the Nation Channel. While potentially controversial because it involves unresolved political and foreign-affairs issues, the cancellation of My Rohingya wasn't due to censorship, but exactly as Victor says -- it simply wasn't finished yet. It was to show at 7 on Sunday. Nothing has been scheduled to replace it.

  3. The film, my Rohigya, was not mine. It is directed by Miss Thananuch Sanguansak (Aoy), the Nation Channel's journalist. The film takes a look at the issue from a Thai woman point-of- view. The film was not censored but the authority from the Cultural Ministry showed concern about the sensitivity of the subject matter and requested the film to be submitted for "approval" before the public screening. The director, then, decided to postpone the screening. I believe it will be screened at the FCCT next year (2010). At least that's what Marwaan, the president of the FCCT told me.


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