Thursday, November 25, 2010

Four short films for HM the King's 83rd birthday

Three Silpathorn Award laureates are among the directors of four short films will screen at Bangkok's SF World Cinema at CentralWorld next week in a Film Festival in Commemoration of the Celebration on the Auspicious Occasion of His Majesty the King's 83rd Birthday Anniversary.

The films are:
  • Terribly Happy (สุดสะแนน, Sudsanan), directed by Pimpaka Towira
  • Superstitious (เกษตร ...ตะกอน), directed by Nonzee Nimibutr
  • Six to Six, (เพลงชาติไทย, Pleng Chat Thai) by Aditya Assarat
  • The Greatest Love, (รักที่ยิ่งใหญ่) by Sirisak Koshpasharin and Pranpaporn Srisumanant

Nonzee, Pimpaka and Aditya were given the Silpathorn Award in 2008, 2009 and this year, respectively. The prestigious contemporary-arts honor is conferred by Thailand's Office of Contemporary Art and Culture of the Ministry of Culture. Those government agencies are among the organizers of the film-festival project.

In Pimpaka's Terribly Happy, a young soldier stationed in southern Thailand takes his leave to return to his hometown in Udon Thani in the Northeast and finds that his girlfriend has a Westerner for a lover. He's angry as first, but learns forgiveness.

An e-mail from Pimpaka's production company Extra Virgin explains further:

Loosely translated as "terribly happy", Sudsanan is an Isaan expression meaning the state where all the sorrows and miseries end, leaving only the feeling of blissful happiness. Similarly, the main idea behinds this film is that human sufferings can be healed by learning how to give.

In a situation of severe conflict, we always think that there has to be a winner and loser. But the reality is that there is never a real winner. Any battle, big or small, always has a cause in greed, ego and self-centeredness.

The filmmaker is inspired by the speech of His Majesty the King on Compassion, which is one of the Ten Royal Virtues. The filmmaker hopes that this film will help bringing about the importance of compassion and generosity in our society on all levels, no matter what social status or language.

Aditya's Six to Six was completed very quickly, and in fact was only shot earlier this month! The Pop Pictures blog explains how they did it:

If anyone is interested in making a fast film, here is some advice:

1. Few Characters: save time on casting and rehearsals. Not many people know this, but the thing that takes the most time on set is when an actor can’t do the scene. For this film, we worked with three actors, all of whom we’ve worked with in the past.

2. Few Locations: save time on location scouting and traveling during shooting. In the middle of Bangkok, having to move locations from one place to another within one shooting day, is a killer. Shoot in one place, it gets rid of the problem.

3. No Music: nobody really thinks about this when they’re writing a script. But having to hire a composer not only costs money but takes time because they generally can’t start until the editing is complete. No music, no composer.

The Greatest Love,
a melodrama extolling the virtues of His Majesty's "sufficiency economy" theories, is screened in 3D as well as 2D. The 3D version screens by itself at 10.30 daily until Friday. The 2D version is screened with the other three shorts.

There are also two feature films, So the short films aren't screening in all sessions. There's also The Ultimate Dream (ปิดทองหลังพระ ตอน ความฝันอันสูงสุด), about military and police heroes, starring Maj-Colonel Wanchana Sawatdee (Naresuan) and Sornram Teppitak, and 9 Mahasan-Ong-Rachan-Palang-Pan-Din (๙ มหัศจรรย์ องค์ราชัน พลังแผ่นดิน), which is a compilation of segments about nine "miracle" concepts.

The screenings are at SFW CentralWorld. Free tickets are at a table in the lobby. You can also check this spreadsheet for the schedule.


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