Monday, October 8, 2012

The Last Executioner takes aim at Busan market

Following the critical success of last year's monastic mystery thriller Mindfulness and Murder (ศพไม่เงียบ, Sop Mai Ngeap), De Warrenne Pictures producer-director Tom Waller continues to mine the grittier side of Thai culture with his next project, Chavoret: The Last Executioner, which he's shopping around this week at the Busan International Film Festival's Asian Film Market.

The fact-based biographical drama is about Chavoret Jaruboon, the last person to hold the job of executing prisoners with a rifle. He died in May of this year. In his younger days, Chavoret was a "wild rock-and-roller" who played guitar for American GIs during the Vietnam War. He then took a "respectable" job with the Corrections Department and became the one-man firing squad responsible for executing condemned prisoners. The film will portray him as a devoted family man who struggled to reconcile the good and bad karma.

The film is being produced by Waller and Michael Pritchett, with Somboon Vichaisre and Oscar Kahar as associate producers. The screenplay is being written by Thailand based expat Don Linder, who interviewed Chavoret and sourced recollections of his life from his wife, lifelong friends and children. Producition is expected to begin in early 2013.

The project will reunite Waller with his Mindfulness and Murder star Vithaya Pansringarm – both nominees for this year's Subhanahongsa Awards for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay. Vithaya, who is also featured in the upcoming Nicolas Winding Refn-Ryan Gosling film Only God Forgives, will portray Chavoret in this later years. They are still looking for a younger actor to take on the role of Chavoret during his rock 'n' roll days.

Waller is at the Asian Film Market along with delegates from the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand.

There will also be Thai Night on Tuesday, put on by the Commerce Ministry and presided over by movie-star Princess Ubolratana, with an aim to promote Thailand as a film location.

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