Monday, October 11, 2010

PIFF 2010: Eternity 'among early front-runners'

Sivaroj Kongsakul's debut feature Eternity (ที่รัก, Tee Rak) has made its world premiere in the New Currents competition at the 15th Pusan International Film Festival.

Agence France-Presse tips the "atmospheric" romantic drama as being "among the early front-runners" in the 13-title New Currents field, and reporter Mathew Scott talked to Sivaroj about the award. Here's a snip from the story:

"As a young independent director you are trying to get noticed," Sivaroj said.

"The films are often very personal so it might be hard to find an audience in commercial cinemas but screening at this festival, and being accepted for this award, puts you in touch with an audience and with important members of the international film community such as foreign producers."

The Thai director's film is, he said, a chance to ponder the relationship with his father who died when he was a young boy. Set in three parts, it looks at a man searching for his hometown, the man's first contact with his future wife, and what happens to the wife after the man dies.

"It was made for relatively no money at all," said Sivaroj. "I am hoping that through the attention we get here we will be able to take this film to other film festivals all around the world."

Eternity, not to be confused with another Thai film called Eternity, has received support from the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Pusan's Asian Cinema Fund and the Culture Ministry's Thai Khem Kan (Strong Thailand) fund.

Like a lot of indie films, Sivaroj's highly personal Eternity isn't for everyone.

Among the early dissenters is critic Christopher Bourne, who tweeted: Eternity ... perfect title; feels like an eternity while watching. Extreme Asian art cinema. A beauty, but to little purpose."

Nonetheless, the film might have a chance with the New Currents jury headed by Oscar-winning costume designer Wada Emi with Korean actress Kim Yunjin, Taiwanese actress Yang Kuei-mei, Indian director Murali Nair and Berlin festival programmer Christoph Terechte.

More news about Eternity can be found on the Pop Pictures website, along with High Society, the sophomore solo feature by Aditya Assarat, who's among the producers of Eternity.

Hi-So is showing in the non-competition Window on Asian cinema along with Wisit Sasanatieng's The Red Eagle and the GTH comedy The Little Comedian (Baan Chan ... Talok Wai Gon (Por Son Wai), บ้านฉัน...ตลกไว้ก่อน (พ่อสอนไว้)), which recently got a positive review by Film Business Asia's Derek Elley.

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