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LEKHA SHANKAR


An exchange of Film News, from Thailand, India and other film-spaces across the world.

 


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A Film Festival to Promote a Destination

                                         THAILAND INTERNATIONAL ‘FILM DESTINATION’  FESTIVAL (3-10 April )

                           

                     At centre,is Thai Actor Vithaya Pansringham, who stars in Nicholas Refn's much-awaited next film 'Only God Forgives.'

                                 

                                A film-festival, to promote Thailand as a film-location

 

   If  there can’t be a ‘Thailand International Film Festival’ then,  why not have a ‘ Thailand International  Film Destination   Festival’ ?

You can’t beat  the innovative campaigns  of   the Tourism Department of  Amazing Thailand.

In an attempt to whip up Thailand as a location for international film-shootings, the Thai Dept of Tourism has lined up this unique festival, to take place in Bangkok, between  April 3-10 .

At the press-conference to announce the festival, all the bigwigs of the tourism-department were there, as also two interesting Thai stars-  Bifun, the actress who starred in the Filippino film which has made young Thai superstar Mario Mauer a household name in that country  ‘Suddenly its magic’, as also Vithaya Pansringham, the dynamic Thai actor who will become a global name soon, when Cannes Best Director awardee Nicholas Refn ‘s  next film ‘Only God Forgives’ will surge through many big festivals ! Refn shot the film in Bangkok, and Vithaya  plays the chief baddie in the film.

The April- Festival will screen ten films shot in Thailand, including movies like ‘ Formosa Betrayed (USA), Lost in Thailand (China),  Teddy Bear (Denmark), Mammoth (Sweden), Vinyan (Belgium) , as also ‘Elephant White’ , an American movie directed by  popular Thai film-maker Prachya Pinkaew, which strangely  was never released in Thailand, except in DVD format. Actor Will Tiao ,who acted in the film, will be present, as also director Adam Kane, French star Jean Claude Van Demme (a regular visitor to  Bangkok), and others.

The second part of the Festival, consists of a Seminar, to discuss ‘ Managing the Differencing Culture in Thailand’, where several  important location-managers from the US and Europe will be invited (one wonders why noone was invited from the Indian film industry, which sizeably contributes to the coffers of the Thai Tourism Dept).

The third part is made up of a series of Short Films that will be made in  different locations of Thailand, by 50 ‘teams' of two individuals each,  who were selected from different parts of the world  . These Short Films will be competitive, with grand cash-prizes, which will be awarded at a red-carpet event on 10 April, the last day of the festival.

With the Bangkok International Film Festival being buried, and the  fledgeling Huahin International Film Festival being cancelled, this is a weak attempt to keep alive the film festival-spirit, in a city superbly equipped for it  (the World Film Festival of Bangkok is too small and indie, to be mentioned in this categore.)

 

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About LEKHA SHANKAR

SHANKAR LEKHA

I'm an Indian film-writer, based in Bangkok, and write for publications in India & Thailand. I also coordinate and curate film programs in the two countries, at cultural centres/clubs, film festivals.


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