Friday, March 14, 2014

Salaya Doc 2014: Seven enter Asean Documentary Competition

Entries from Cambodia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have been selected for this year’s Asean Documentary Competition at the fourth Salaya International Documentary Film Festival.

Two of them are by Thai indie filmmakers – Sivaroj Kongsakul and Wichanon Sumumjarn.

In Homeland, Sivaroj continues on the themes he explored in his semi-autobiographical debut feature, 2010’s family drama Eternity (Tee-Rak). The 23-minute documentary is about a schoolteacher who, after 36 years of instructing first-grade pupils, hopes to own her own home before she dies.

Wichanon, who made his feature debut with the semi-autobiographical documentary-drama In April the Following Year There was a Fire, looks at a young Isaan lass as she takes a job as a product presenter in Bangkok in Pretty Woman Walking Down the Street.

From Myanmar, Aung Nwai Htway dissects his parents’ marriage in Behind the Screen. His folks were film icons in 1960s Myanmar, but today Htway struggles to reconcile those glamorous images with the painful memories of his parents’ divorce.

The Cambodian entry Red Wedding looks at a legacy of the Khmer Rouge, which forced some 250,000 women into marriages. Directed by Lida Chan and Guillaume Suon and produced by Rithy Panh, Red Wedding tells the story of Sochan, who at the age of 16 was forced into a marriage with a soldier who raped her. After 30 years of silence, she brought her case to the international tribunal in Phnom Penh.

Another Asean neighbor’s past is unearthed in To Singapore, With Love by Tan Pin Pin. Her controversial film features interviews with the country’s political exiles.

The past also lingers in the Vietnamese entry, Mrs Bua’s Carpet, in which director Duong Mong Thu goes looking for memories and traces of war in Danang.

And Jazz in Love by Filipino filmmaker Baby Ruth Villarama centres on cross-cultural romance as it looks at a young Filipino named Jazz as he awaits the arrival of his fiance, a middle-aged German man.

Further details about the fest, were covered in an earlier post. Hit the following link to download the schedule.

The Salaya International Documentary Film Festival runs from March 22 to 29 at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, and at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center from March 25 to 28 and on March 30.

(Cross-published in The Nation)

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