Thursday, June 3, 2010

Phuket Film Festival 2010: Tribute to Khun Kom Akadej

The Phuket Film Festival this year has a Tribute to Khun Kom Akadej, honoring an major figure in Thai cinema history.

I asked Regis at Thai World View, who chronicles classic Thai cinema, to tell me a bit more.

Kom Akadej (คมน์ อรรฆเดช) made a string of around 12 action movies and dramas from 1975 to 1987. According to, he was also an actor in around eight films from 1971 to 1975.

Among his films was 1979's The Mountain Tiger (เสือภูเขา, Sua Poo Kao, also The Mountain Lion) and 1983's The Opera Hero (พยัคฆ์ยี่เก, Payak Yeekay, literally “The tiger of Thai song and dance theatre”).

Probably his most ambitious production was 1982's Diamond Cuts Diamond (เพชรตัดเพชร), which included Hong Kong superstar David Chiang in the cast. It's also known as Operation Bangkok, not to be confused with the 1966-7 Mitr Chaibancha movie of the same name.

Kom then switched to directing Thai TV series.

He served as president of the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand from 1999 to 2002.

And, Phuket Film Festival director Scott Rosenberg calls him "the dean of film distribution in southern Thailand".

Kom is the owner of the Coliseum chain of cinemas – the home of movie-goers in Phuket and southern Thailand.

The Phuket Film Festival is showing seven of Kom's films. Here's the lineup:

I'm told that only The Mountain Lion has English subtitles, and it's showing on Saturday, June 5, at 5 and on June 13 at 11am. The rest are on Sunday, June 6, in back-to-back free screenings, starting at noon. Seating is limited to 90 people

The festival opens tomorrow with Harishchandrachi Factory by Paresh Mokashi. India's submission to the Oscars is a comedy-drama about the making of the first Indian silent feature.

Saturday has a Bollywood smash-hit, 3 Idiots, a sprawling road-trip comedy about a pair of friends looking for their heroic college friend (Aamir Khan) and recalling their days at the university while under terrible stress from a beastly professor. There's also the Festival of Short Films.

They're also showing Chadni Chowk to China, a crazy mash-up of Bollywood and Shaw Brothers martial arts, starring Akshay Kumar, Gordon Liu, Deepika Padukone and Conan Stevens.

Sunday also has The Prince and Me 4: The Elephant Adventure, which was shot in Thailand, as well as two tsunami documentaries, Kepulihan: Stories from the Tsunami and the benefit screening Revealed: Anatomy of a Recovery, proceeds from which go to help the Moken community in the Phuket area.

Aside from films, the weekend is packed with parties and receptions, including the opening gala at the Royal Phuket Marina.

Update: The full schedule is here. They aren't really maintaining that B-Side thing for now.

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