Monday, October 6, 2014

Busan 2014: Mosquito puts Thieves, Exploding Durians, So Be It and W on autumn slate

River of Exploding Durians premieres at the Tokyo film fest.

Mosquito Films Distribution, the indie film shingle launched earlier this year by several prominent Thai filmmakers, is expanding its reach in Southeast Asia, announcing the addition of two Malaysian entries to its slate of titles being promoted at autumn film festivals.

At Busan, the Mosquitos are touting The Second Life of Thieves by Malaysia's Woo Ming Jin, along with two new Thai features, W by Chonlasit Upanigkit and So Be It by Kongdej Jaturanrasmee. They'll also be at the Tokyo International Film Festival with River of Exploding Durians, the debut feature of Malaysia's Edmund Yeo.

Here's more from a press release yesterday:

Says Woo, “Edmund and I are excited to work with Mosquito. We are in good hands and look forward to a long-term relationship with them. I believe this is a collaboration that will serve not just Malaysian and Thai cinema, but also Southeast Asian cinema in general. Together, we can share more of our films with the rest of the world”.

The Second Life of Thieves is Woo’s highly-anticipated fifth feature while River of Exploding Durians is Yeo’s debut after many award-winning shorts. The two filmmakers collaborate closely on all their films with each taking the producing role while the other is directing.

Says Mosquito’s Aditya Assarat, “All of us Southeast Asians are making films under the same circumstances. Because of this, we share the same DIY spirit that is behind Mosquito Films to begin with. After launching the company in January with our own titles, we’re proud to take our first step towards representing regional films by partnering with the prolific Greenlight Pictures.”

In addition to Aditya, other partners in Mosquito Films Distribution are Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pimpaka Towira, Soros Sukhum, Anocha Suwichakornpong and Lee Chatametikool.

The Second Life of Thieves has intertwining relationships of one man who discovers his wife has disappeared with his friend – a man he had a secret relationship for decades. He in turn forms an unlikely friendship with his friend's daughter. "They embark on an emotional journey that will open old and new wounds alike. Juxtaposing between present day and 30 years in the past, The Second Life of Thieves is a meditation on love, loss, and regret."

River of Exploding Durians, the first Malaysian film selected for the main competition of the Tokyo International Film Festival, is set in a coastal town is turned upside down by the construction of a radioactive rare earth plant. An idealistic teacher and a group of high school students find themselves battling for the soul of their hometown. "Based on real-life events, River of Exploding Durians is a sweeping tale of Malaysian history and its youth, where people are enveloped by politics and sadness while searching for love."

So Be It, meanwhile, is Kongdej's followup to his award-winning teen social drama Tang Wong. Here, he looks at two young boys, a seven-year-old city kid who is the star of a reality show and an 11-year-old hilltribe boy who become novice monks. "A documentary fiction hybrid film that uses as its starting point a popular TV show and ends up becoming a coming-of-age story of two boys from vastly different backgrounds."

And W, the debut feature of 24-year-old film editor Chonlasit Upanigkit, focuses on a young woman struggling with her first year of college as she and her new friends say goodbye to their youth and get ready to embrace an uncertain future. "The film is an epic of Thai college life made as the thesis project of the director at his university in the outskirts of Bangkok."

More about W and another Busan entry That Day of the Month, can be found at the Bangkok Post.

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