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Bangkok's 7th World Film Festival dubbed "7th Heaven" for film lovers

With around 100 movies screening over 10 days, the 7th World Film Festival of Bangkok is set for November 6 to 15, 2009 at Paragon Cineplex, opening with the new independent Thai drama “Jao Nok Krajok” (“Mundane History”) and closing with Jamaican rhythms in an outdoor screening of the documentary “Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae”.

“The seventh year of the World Film Festival of Bangkok could be recognized as the seventh heaven of film lovers,” says festival director Kriengsak Victor Silakong. “The increasing number of quality and fun movies shown during the festival is evidence of the continuous development of the World Film Festival of Bangkok – the film festival for the creative and innovative generation.”

Each year, more and more filmmakers want to be part of the WFFBKK, and this year around 100 features and shorts will be screened in eight sections: Asian Contemporary, Cinema Beat, Cine Latino, Doc Feast, Short Wave, Guts Nouveau, Music & Dance a la Carte and Retrospective.

Alain Tanner, the veteran Swiss director, will be honoured in the Retrospective section. Six movies by the 80-year-old filmmaker will be shown: “Charles, Dead or Alive” (1969), “The Salamande” (1971), “Jonah Who Will be 25 in The Year 2000” (1976), “Messidor” (1979), “Light Years Away” (1981) and “In The White City” (1983).

Actor Jean-Luc Bideau will attend the festival as Tanner’s representative. One of Switzerland’s most talented and prolific actors, he starred in “Charles, Dead or Alive”, “The Salamande” and “Jonah Who Will be 25 in The Year 2000”.

The Retrospective section is supported by the Swiss Film Archive and the Embassy of Switzerland in Thailand.

“Must-see” movies in the festival include “To Die Like a Man” from Portugal, the Bulgarian film noir “Zift” by Javor Gardev and “Gulabi Talkies” a Kannada-language drama-comedy by Indian director Girish Kasaravalli. There’s also “The Wind and the Water”, a Sundance nominee from Panama and “Home” from Swiss director Ursula Meier.

Among the festival guests will be Tsai Ming-liang, one of the most celebrated directors of Taiwanese cinema. The festival will show Tsai’s latest work, “Face” (“Visage”), which was shot in Paris’ Louvre museum and features a cast of big names from France and Taiwan, including Fanny Ardant, Laetitia Casta, Jean-Pierre Léaud and Lee Kang-sheng.

“To Die Like a Man” director João Pedro Rodrigues will also come for the festival. The opening film “Jao Nok Krajok” (“Mundane History)” is the first feature from Thai independent director Anocha Suwichakornpong. The production received support from the 2006 Produire au Sud Bangkok, the biennial workshop for new producers and directors in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka held by the Produire au Sud Foundation of the Festival of 3 Continents, the French Embassy in Thailand and the WFFBKK since 2004.

Anocha, well respected in the world cinema scene for her short films, built her reputation on 2006’s “Graceland”, the first Thai short film to be included in the Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival.

The opening celebration of the 7th World Film Festival of Bangkok will be held in the Infinity Hall of Paragon Cineplex on November 6, 2009 at 6pm.

The closing celebration will be held on November 15, 2009 in Discovery Plaza at Siam Discovery Centre with a “Celebrity Look Alike” competition for people who believe they closely resemble famous stars.

The closing film, “Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae”, is a Swiss documentary that traces the origins of Jamaican pop music. It will be a free, open-air screening.

The 7th World Film Festival of Bangkok is co-organized by Thailand's Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, the Ministry of Culture, The Nation newspaper, Daily Xpress, Major Cineplex Group Plc and Paragon Cineplex.

It is sponsored by Singha Corporation Co., Ltd., Thai Life Insurance Co., Ltd., the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Pioneer Electronics (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Secret Recipe, Discovery Plaza, Siam Discovery and Chateau De Art Co., Ltd. with cooperation by foreign embassies in Thailand and special cooperation by the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, the Swiss Film Archive, the Alliance Française and the Goethe-Institut Bangkok. Other media support comes from Mcot Public Company Limited, True Film Asia, Happening magazine, Bioscope magazine and Music & Art magazine.

The 7th World Film Festival of Bangkok will be held at Paragon Cineplex from November 6 to 15, 2009. Tickets are 100 Baht (approximately US$3) and 50 Baht for students.

Awards for the 7th WFFBKK Poster Competition will be announced on October 19 via the festival website and all media in the Nation Group. More information on www.worldfilmbkk.com

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