Friday, December 17, 2010

French distributor first in line for Pen-ek's Headshot

Pen-ek Ratanaruang's crime thriller Headshot, currently in production, has been picked up for distribution in France by Wild Side.

The movie is being hailed as Pen-ek's "return to the crime-thriller genre". Pen-ek's debut feature Fun Bar Karaoke and his second one 6ixtynin9 had film-noir elements. But then so did Monrak Transistor. Pen-ek's pan-Asian features Last Life in the Universe and Invisible Waves were solid crime thrillers. And his last two efforts Ploy and Nymph were mysterious and full of shadows.

So I'd say the crime thriller is a genre Pen-ek has never really left behind.

Anyway, folks are pretty excited, and they have reason to be, since Pen-ek is adapting a story by S.E.A. Write Award-winning writer and Silpathorn Award laureate Win Lyovarin, Fon Tok Kuen Fah (ฝนตกขึ้นฟ้า, literally "rain falling upward"), which is a self-styled "film noir novel".

Wild Side COO Manuel Chiche is among the fans, which he affirms in this quote from a press release:

"We have always been very attached to Pen-ek's talents and have been waiting for him and his next project for quite some time. The script itself is full of action, humour, and philosophies Pen-ek style - very original."

The movie is being produced by Bangkok-based Local Color Films, which also backed Wisit Sasanatieng's The Red Eagle, the short-film omnibus Sawasdee Bangkok (which included segments by Pen-ek and Wisit) and Aditya Assarat's recent short film Phuket.

Raymond Phathanavirangoon, who was formerly with Fortissimo and has worked as a programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival, is producing Headshot, along with Pawas Sawatchaiyamet.

Ray brokered the deal with Wild Side, and he explains more in the press release:

"Wild Side has always been a great supporter of director Pen-ek's works since Invisible Waves and Ploy. Manuel was one of the first to read the Headshot screenplay, and we were elated by his immediate and enthusiastic response. As such, we are very pleased to be continuing our relationship with them."

Head Shot, which is being made for around US$600,000, was recently presented at the Tokyo Project Gathering. Production has started and it's expected to be completed around May.

The plot has been detailed in an earlier post and at the movie's website.

"Peter" Noppachai Jayanama (Naresuan II, Nymph) and Cris Horwang (Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story, Saturday Killer) star.

There's also a new-face actress in the supporting cast, model "Dream" Chanokporn Sayoung, and she's interviewed (in Thai) in a behind-the-scenes clip that's posted on the Headshot Facebook page.

(Via Film Business Asia, Twitch)

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