Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Culture Ministry screens International Award-Winning Thai Films at Paragon

The Culture Ministry together with Paragon Cineplex join the trend of saluting Thai independent cinema with a program of 11 shorts and features, screening from August 18 to 22 in the International Award-Winning Thai Films series under the ministry's Fuan Mit Ruan Samai Sangsan Thai Su Sakol project.

According to a Culture Ministry press release, the program is in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and aims to "propagate contemporary art as [a] cultural asset, and also to extend the contemporary art to the creative economy".

Here's the lineup (also at the Major Cineplex website):

  • August 18, 5pm: Zart Tancharoen's Lost Nation (100 min)
  • August 19, 5pm: Apichatpong Weerasethakul's A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (20 min), Kanitta Kwanyu's The Moment of Love (22 min), Nattaphong Homchuen's Red Man (8 min), Pichaya Chaidee's Love You If Me Dare (17 min) and Zart Tancharoen's Relativity Plus Quantum (15 min.)
  • August 20, 5pm: Anocha Suwichakornpong's Graceland (17 min), Anocha's Like Real Love (38 min) Adiya Assarat's Waiting (25 min) and Aditya's 705/1 Sukhumvit 55 (5 mins)
  • August 21, 1pm: Citizen Juling (222 min) by Samamrat "Ing K" Kanchanawit, Manit Sriwanichapoom and Kraisak Choonhavan
  • August 21, 5.30pm: A Letter to Uncle Boonmee, The Moment of Love, Red Man, Love You If Me Dare and Relativity Plus Quantum
  • August 22, 1pm: Graceland, Like Real Love, Waiting, 705/1 Sukhumvit 55
  • August 22, 6pm: Citizen Juling

Zart Tancharoen's experimental documentary-style drama Lost Nation (ผมชื่อชาติ) is about a man named Chart (Nation), who's lost in the woods. As he fades into the mist, his identity becomes clearer to friends and family who talk of his disappearance. It screened at last year's World Film Festival of Bangkok.

Apichatpong's A Letter to Uncle Boonmee, a short that's part of his multi-platform Primitive art project, which also spawned the Cannes Golden Palm-winning feature Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Letter has reaped several awards, including best film and prize of the jury at the Pernambuco Association of Filmmakers at the Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife, Brazil, as well as honors in Oberhausen and Ann Arbor. It was also screened at last year's World Film Festival of Bangkok.

Kanitta's The Moment of Love (เวลา...รัก) was featured at last year's Thai Short Film & Video Festival and the Bangkok Fringe Festival.

Nattaphong's highly entertaining, politically colored Red Man was also featured at last year's Thai Short Film & Video Festival. It won the best cinematography award in the Kodak Filmschool Competition and was part of last year's travelling package of S-Express Thailand shorts.

Pichaya's Love You If Me Dare won a short film prize at the 16th Subhanahongsa Awards and was selected for the Fat-rama festival, the Bimm festival and others.

Zart's Relativity Plus Quantum was featured at the 2005 World Film Festival of Bangkok. It was the second-prize White Elephant Award for student films as well as the best cinematography honors in the Kodak Awards at the ninth Thai Short Film & Video Festival. It was shown at the 2006 Curta Vila do Conde International Film Festival in Portugal and the 2005 CJ Entertainment Asian Film Festival in South Korea.

Graceland, from 2006, was Anocha's graduate thesis film from Columbia University. It's about an Elvis impersonator (Sarawut Martthong) being picked up by a mysterious woman and taken into the countryside. It was the first Thai film to be selected for the Cannes Cinefondation program. It won awards at the Busan Asian Short Film Festival and the Tampere Film Festival.

Anocha's triptych Like. Real. Love (ดุจ จิต ใจ , Duj Jit Jai), premiered at the 2008 International Film Festival Rotterdam, and won the grand prize at the 13th Hong Kong Independent Short Film & Video Awards and a special mention at Oberhausen. Each of the three segments examine different states of emotion and dreams.

Aditya, this year's Silpathorn laureate for film, has Waiting from 2002, which has been featured at dozens of festivals. Awards include the Cinemavenire Grand Prize at the 2003 Torino Film Festival and a special mention at the 2003 Thai Short Film & Video Festival. His 705/1 Sukhumvit 55 (an address along Bangkok's Soi Thonglor) is also from 2002 and has been featured at many film festivals.

Citzen Juling (พลเมืองจูหลิง, Polamuang Juling) is a sweeping, epic-length documentary on Thai politics and society that stems from the fatal beating of a young Buddhist schoolteacher in restive Muslim-majority southern Thailand's Narathiwat Province in 2006. The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and was also screened at that year's Bangkok International Film Festival and the 2009 Berlinale. Despite much fear by Ing K, Manit and Kraisak that their politically sensitive movie would be censored, it was screened uncut in a limited release at Bangkok's House cinema last year. It was a nominee for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and best-picture winner at the Kom Chad Luek Awards.

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