Friday, March 14, 2014

The Cheer Ambassadors are back in Bangkok

Perhaps Thailand's warring political parties could learn a lesson or two from The Cheer Ambassadors, a rousing documentary about the plucky band of misfits who formed the Bangkok University cheerleading squad. Together, they trained hard and became determined to make it to the world cheerleading championships, and, against all odds, they actually won!

After a lengthy run on the festival circuit, The Cheer Ambassadors is back in Bangkok, and has opened at House cinema for a limited run.

Directed by Luke Cassady-Dorion, the documentary bursts with energy as it follows the cheerleaders while they work under their coach, the obsessive Sarawut "Toey" Samniangdee. Inspired by late-night ESPN viewings of the "cheerleading Olympics", he gathered together a squad and pushed until they shared his dream of a Thai team competing on the world stage.

Since its premiere at the ninth World Film Festival of Bangkok in January 2012, The Cheer Ambassadors has spread its uplifting story around the world, winning several awards, including Best Documentary at the 60°N Os festival in Norway, the Audience Award at the ChopShots documentary Edge Festival in Jakarta and third place International Documentary at the All-Sports Los Angeles Film Festival.

But for the filmmakers, their greatest honor was being granted an audience to show The Cheer Ambassadors to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Srindhorn.

I liked it too and listed it among the Top 10 Thai Films of 2012. You can read more about it in an article in The Nation today. The trailer is embedded below. And as a bonus, head over to A Single Production's website to view a short documentary, The Cheer Tailor.

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