Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Busan New Currents competition counts to 36

Nawapol Thamrattanrongrit's self-produced and self-released debut feature 36 is among the titles selected for this year's New Currents competition for first- or second-time feature directors at the Busan Internaional Film Festival.

Comprised of 36 scenes, each a single camera set-up, often from odd angles that obscure the faces of the actors, it's the story of a young woman who works as a location scout for an independent film company, and her relationship with an art director. A year later, the art director has moved on, but when her portable hard drive crashes, taking with all the photos she took with him, she struggles to resurrect those lost, fragmented memories.

Nawapol executive-produced the film with support from Aditya Assarat's Pop Pictures, the GTH studio, A Day magazine and others. In a first, the logos of Pop Pictures and GTH appear alongside each other on poster. Taking the experimentalism of the project to the extreme, Nawapol released the film himself, shepherding it around to various small venues around Bangkok and Chiang Mai, screening it in such places as the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, the Alliance Francais and lately at House cinema, and charging 100 baht a head to recoup his expenses. He promoted the screenings mostly through Facebook, and, notably, had sell-out houses.

Film Business Asia lists the nine other films in the New Currents line-up, which will be judged by a panel headed by Hungarian visionary Béla Tarr.

The Busan fest runs from October 4 to 13.

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