Friday, January 24, 2014

IFFR 2014: Top Thai indie filmmakers launch Mosquito Films Distribution

The Mosquito people, from left, Anocha, Aditya, Soros, Apichatpong, Lee, Pimpaka and Sompot.

Leading Thai independent filmmakers – directors Aditya Assarat, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lee Chatametikool, Pimpaka Towira and producer Soros Sukhum – have banded together to start Mosquito Films Distribution.

The launch of the new company was announced this week at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, where several Mosquito titles are screening, among them Lee's debut feature Concrete Clouds, the world premiere of Uruphong Raksasad's The Songs of Rice,  Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit's Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy and the omnibus Letters from the South.

Sompot “Boat” Chidgasornpongse, among the attendees at this year's Berlin Talent Campus, has been named as the company's general manager.

Here's more from the company's website:
The new company will handle international sales and festival distribution for the partners’ films as well as upcoming titles from the new generation of Southeast Asian filmmakers.  The focus is on maximizing the potential of each individual film as well as aggregating the content into curated programs for festivals and educational institutions with a focus on Southeast Asian cinema.

Says Weerasethakul, “We are so busy day to day that we sometimes forget we have amassed quite a beautiful set of movies.  I think its time we unite and share these films to the world.  I, for one, am fascinated by the aesthetic of the new Thai films.  I am certain we are heading towards something more and more innovative”.

Mosquito Films Distribution will kick off operations at the 2014 Rotterdam Film Festival with a high profile selection of new and recent films: Concrete Clouds, directed by Chatametikool and co-produced by Weerasethakul, The Songs of Rice, directed by Uruphong Raksasad and produced by Towira, Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy, directed by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit and produced by Assarat, and the omnibus feature Letters from the South, co-directed by Assarat, Tsai Ming-Liang, Tan Chui Mui, Royston Tan, Midi Z, and Sun Koh, and produced by Tan Chui Mui.

Says Assarat, “we are all friends who have collaborated during the productions of our previous films.  The new company is about extending that collaboration into distribution as well.  Our strategy is to start with our own titles while at the same time finding and introducing to the world the next generation of filmmakers.  We want to be the brand that comes to mind when you think of Southeast Asian cinema.”

The partners have hired Sompot Chidgasornpongs as General Manager.  Chidgasornpongs, along with Towira, Sukhum and Chatametikool will be present at Rotterdam and Berlin to introduce the new venture and meet with potential clients.

Upcoming projects from Mosquito Films include So Be It by Kongdej Jaturanrasmee, By the Time It Gets Dark by Anocha, Beer Girl by Wichanon Somumjarn and Railway Sleepers, the long-in-the-works debut feature by Sompot. It was previously known as Are We There Yet?

Current offerings from the company also include a collection of Apichatpong’s short films, going all the way back to his first in 1994, 0116643225059 to 2012’s Cactus River.

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