Saturday, December 22, 2012

A bit of Thai flavor at the Asia Pacific Film Festival

The 55th edition of the Asia Pacific Film Festival, held December 13 to 16, was a glitzy, star-studded affair thanks to its venue, the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, and its organizers, which included its executive chairman, Hong Kong actor-producer Eric Tsang.

Big Hong Kong stars like Jackie Chan were in attendance for the red carpet ceremony. And it was a Hong Kong film, Johnnie To's Life Without Principle, that came away the big winner.

The Asia Pacific fest, which bounces around to different cities and is not necessarily held every year, is primarily a function for industry figures to pat each other on the back.

In attendance for the shindig this year was the World Film Festival of Bangkok's Victor Silakong, who offered his view of the proceedings in an article in The Nation today.

The prizes were decided on by a jury of Hong Kong actress Carina Lau, Cannes Film Festival artistic director Christian Jeune, Chinese director Lu Chuan, Indonesian producer Mira Lesmana, Thai director Nonzee Nimibutr, Indian director Anubhav Sinha and Taiwanese director Su Chao Pin.

The films were selected by a committee of festival directors, critics and producers: Freddie Wong from Hong Kong, Lorna Tee from Hong Kong and Malaysia, Oh Jung-wan from South Korea, Kong Rithdee from Thailand, Indu Shrikent from India, Nashen Moodley from Australia, Shen Yang from China and Teruoka Sozo from Japan.

According to Victor, only one Thai film, M-Thirtynine's ghost-girlfriend thriller I Miss U, made it to the final nominations – for best editing by Nittipol Kositgnamdeewongse.

But there were also Thais up for awards in the technical categories for their work on films from other countries, thanks to Thailand's position as Asia's hub of post-production.

Traithep Wongpaiboon and Nopawat Likitwong from Kantana won the prize for best sound on Hong Kong's The Silent War.

Lensman Charin Pengpanitch was a nominee for best cinematography on the Malaysian underground-boxing drama Bunohan, which is set on the Thai border, and editor-soundman Sunit Asvinikul was a nominee for best sound on Malaysia's The Wedding Diary.

Here's the list of winners:

  • Best Film: Life without Principle, Hong Kong
  • Best Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda,  I Wish, Japan
  • Best Actress: Gwei Lun Mei, GF*BF, Taiwan
  • Best Actor: Eddie Garcia, Bwakaw, Philippines
  • Best Supporting Actress: Makiko Watanabe, Capturing Dad, Japan
  • Best Supporting Actor: Lo Hoi Pang, Life Without Principle, Hong Kong
  • Best Screenplay: Ahmad Reza Motomadi, Alzheimer’s, Iran
  • Best Cinematography: Jake Pollock, Starry Starry Night, Taiwan
  • Best Editing: Kwong Chi Leong and Wong Hoi, Cold War, Hong Kong
  • Best Music: Pritam Chakraborthy, Barfi, India
  • Best Art Director: Wasiq Khan, Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2, India
  • Best Sound: Traitep Wongpaiboon and Nopawat Likitwong, The Silent War, Hong Kong

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