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Thai Films in Korea

acf-screenings

The Busan Film Festival has been a great supporter of Thai filmmakers.  That sounds very run of the mill right?  Like something you read in a press release.  Well, let’s put it this way:  if someone asked “who’s yo daddy?” we would say “Busan”.  That’s the truth of it, and its no exaggeration as the festival has had a hand in almost every recent Thai independent film.

This month, to commemorate our friendship, the ACF (Asian Cinema Fund)  is organizing a limited release of four of our films.  They are Eternity, Mundane History, Wonderful Town, and Uncle Boonmee.  The first three were all completed with the ACF post-production grant, while the fourth won the Palme d’Or, so nobody’s gonna argue with that.

The ACF is in its fifth year and the fund is now expanding its role to include distribution.  It is an honor that out of all the films they have supported over the years, they have chosen to start their distribution arm with Thai films.  If anybody is going to be in Seoul, please come by and say hello.  Juke and Karn will be there to meet the audience on Oct 22 and 23.

Here is the schedule:

Oct 20-26: Theatre Cinecode Sonje (Seoul)

Early Nov: Bucheon Cultural Cinematheque (Bucheon)

Late Nov: Indiplus (Seoul)

Hi…So…when is your movie screening?

hi-so-web

That’s what people have been saying to us during the past year.  Okay, well the day is near, Hi-So is finally coming to a theater near you.  The film will screen in limited release as part of Extra Virgin and SF Cinema’s Director Screen Project.  It begins on October 13 in three cinemas and will run for one month according to the schedule below.

SF Central World, SF Central Ladprao, SF Terminal 21

Mon-Fri: 7.00pm

Sat-Sun: 2.00pm, 7.00pm

We also have a Facebook page with all the background information about the movie.  This is the first time we’ve used social media to publicize our work and now we can’t imagine how we ever did anything without it.  It even makes updating our official website seem sadly antiquated.  Oh well.  Nostalgia is comforting in the age of speed.

https://www.facebook.com/hisothemovie

Busan Pusan Daddy Combs!

biff-20111

Every year when October rolls around, we all get excited for the trip to Busan for the film festival.  It used to be called the Pusan Film Festival but this year changed its name to Busan.  Maybe like Peking and Beijing or Burma and Myanmar or Puff Daddy and Sean Combs yo!  Anyway, whatever the name, it’s our favorite festival, with nice beaches, cool weather, and weird Korean alcohol.

kaen-web

This year we have a few reasons to be there, though truth be told, even if we had absolutely no reason to go, we’d probably still go for the reasons just explained in the last sentence.  First, our short film 6 to 6 is screening, though not in competition, because Aditya is also on the jury for the short film competition.  That would be total gangster to give a prize to your own film though.

interior

Next, our new project Interior, has received the ACF (Asian Cinema Fund) script development award.  Interior is the first feature by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit who has made many short films and also wrote the script for Bangkok Traffic Love Story, the highest grossing Thai film of 2009.  We could use a little bit of grossing advice so we’re excited for this new project together.

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Finally, Aditya is also involved with another project called Southeast Loves which is in the APM (Asian Project Market).  This omnibus film is a collaboration between seven Asian countries.  The producers are Fran Borgia and Yasuhiro Morinaga from Singapore and Japan, and the directors are from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand.  That’s a handful of Asians, man.

See you there homies!

Take/Know/Low/ยี้

tip-direct-2

This past week we were  down south teaching local students from Satun and Songkhla to make a short film.  It was part of the ministry of culture’s outreach program to support alternative voices.  The directing instructor was Tip.  Here she is sitting behind the monitor.  She also helped to write the script, which is called Take/Know/Low/ยี้, about two sisters in a traditional Islamic school.

sa-and-ma-2

Here are our two sisters, Amina and Aisa.  Amina is in 7th grade and Aisa is in 11th grade. They go to Samakee Islam Wittaya School in Satun.  The crew members were made up of students from this school as well Rajamangala Sriwichai Technical College in Songkhla. We shot for four days in the school, the streets, the market, and a house that belonged to one of the students.

shoot-ramad-2

This is a scene when the students go to pray.  Following tradition, the students pray five times a day, and two of those are during school hours: at 12 noon and 4pm.  So we waited until the actual prayer time to shoot.  All the students paired with an instructor for each of the main positions: directing, cinematography, sound, production design, and production management.

at-home

Here is everyone setting up to shoot in the house.  It rained really hard and Satun got flooded like many other provinces around the country.  Because of this, our production was delayed as we got flooded right out of our hotel.  There we are standing in the street waiting for the boat to come and get us.  It never came.  So we walked through the water and got bit by some weird water animals.

flood

In the end, we made it out of there with a complete film.  Now starts the editing!

I’ve waited an Eternity, man!

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Okay, okay, quit complaining.  It hasn’t been an eternity since Eternity premiered at the Pusan Film Festival 2010, it’s only been a year.  After traveling to festivals around the world, the film is finally coming back home for a limited theatrical release.

We are partnering again with Extra Virgin  and SF Cinemas to bring the film to a theater near you.  That’s literal too.  Eternity will be screening at only one location, SF Central World, for one month beginning this Thursday, September 8.   See you there!

SF Central World

Mon-Fri: 7.00pm

Sat-Sun: 2.00pm, 7.00pm

Keng in Paris 6: Last Days

Keng and Pooh are currently in Paris to visit Karn at the Cannes Residency.  Here are some excerpts from his diary:

cemetery

“The last day of my trip has arrived.  Today we took a walk to the Pere-Lachaise Cemetery to visit the grave of Francois Truffaut.  I don’t know why we waited until the last day as it’s only a ten minute walk from the Residency.  Anyway, we arrived at four and the place closed at five so we only had an hour to find the gravestone.  There was a map, but it didn’t help much.  When we did find the spot however, it was a fitting resting place for Truffaut.  Simple but classic.”

karn-pooh

“After that we walked around Montmartre and listened to a jazz band fill the night air with music.  At around 2am the rain started to fall and it was time to call it a night.  I only got a few hours sleep as I was up at dawn to finish packing.  Seeing me off to the airport, Karn said ‘I wish I was going home too’.  Though Pooh is staying with him another week, inside, I think Karn is already saying his goodbyes.  This is the last photo I took of them.  See you soon little brother”.

Keng in Paris 5: Everyone we know

Keng and Pooh are currently in Paris to visit Karn at the Cannes Residency.  Here are some excerpts from his diary.

liberty

“My routine has become museum hopping during the day and restaurant hopping at night.  The other day I wandered through the Louvre.   I didn’t have much time so I just tried to catch the necessary stuff.  Mona lisa?  Check.  Venus de Milo?  Check.  Liberty leading the people?  Check.  Speaking of liberty and people, I’m reminded of our own elections and how the road ahead will pan out for us.  Even being here, our thoughts are never far from home.”

keng-face

“It’s rainy here, but even with the grey skies, Paris is filled with beauty.  I spend most days alone, meeting up with Karn and Pooh for dinner.  The other night we went to a Japanese buffet owned by a Lao guy.  He served us some amazing sushi which was the best 15 euros I ever spent.  At night, we take the train home and drink beer.  Living in this foreign land has made us all reflective.  We talk of the future, of ourselves, and of everyone we know.”

Keng in Paris 4: The old and the new

Keng and Pooh are currently in Paris to visit Karn at the Cannes Residency.  Here are some excerpts from his diary.

montremarte

“Karn’s apartment is in the area of town called Pigalle, which is next to Montmartre, the neighborhood made famous by the movie Amelie.  Pooh was tired from yesterday’s walking tour and decided to sleep in so I set out by myself towards Sacre Couer, the church at the top of the hill (Montmartre is actually a hill).  I got lost along the way but just followed all the other tourists.  The streets were pretty but didn’t look much like Amelie because there were just too many people.  Or maybe I should have come early in the morning.  Well, life isn’t always like the movies.”

la-defense

“In the afternoon Karn and Pooh joined me for a trip out to La Defense, the business district of Paris.  When we emerged from the subway, I noticed right away that it looked different from the rest of the city.  It’s very modern.  And that’s why it’s all the way on the other side of the river.  Parisians want to keep their city looking like Amelie so they moved the entire district as far away as they could.  Merde!  Get it out of sight!  While the rest of the world strives for modernity, the French hold on to the past.  I guess they know a thing or two about nostalgia.”

Keng in Paris 3: A Kubrickian afternoon

Keng and Pooh are currently in Paris to visit Karn at the Cannes Residency.  Here are some excerpts from his diary.

cinematheque

“Today I woke up at 7am but had to wait until almost 11am until I started hearing footsteps outside my door.  Life for Karn at the Residency is very independent. Although there are six roommates, they all split up to do their own thing.  The only time all of them are in the apartment at the same time is at night.  After breakfast, we took the train over to the Cinematheque Francaise.  Karn had a free pass but Pooh and I had to pay a 10 euros entrance fee.  800 baht.  Pretty expensive but it was worth it because there was a Stanley Kubrick Retrospective.”

kubrickian

“The Retrospective began with his early photographic works and ended with AI: Artificial Intelligence which he planned to do but was ultimately made by Steven Spielberg after his death.  The most interesting thing was seeing the master’s personal notes to his crew members.  He was very detailed, even about poster design.  On the poster for The Shining, he wrote ‘this is too much like a sci-fi film’.  Very impressive.  In the afternoon, we lay around in the grass outside the Cinematheque and chatted about this and that, life, dreams.  Kubrick’ll do that to you.”

Keng in Paris 2: Today’s dinner tomorrow

Keng and Pooh are currently in Paris to visit Karn at the Cannes Residency.  Here are some excerpts from his diary.

shakespeare

“Coming to Europe has given me major jet lag.  This morning I was up at 6am and went to knock on Karn’s door.  Turns out he and Pooh were already awake too.  Today is our first full day here and so we planned the traditional walking tour.  We started at the Louvre and even though it was early, there was already a long line outside.  We decided that today wouldn’t be our museum day so we walked over to Notre Dame cathedral instead.  The sun was shining and the air was cool.  We crossed the river to Shakespeare and Company where I took this picture.”

eiffel

“From there, we walked along the Seine until we came to the Eiffel Tower.  Even though visiting the Eiffel Tower on your first day in Paris is a little cheesy, you can’t deny how striking it is.  It’s the most beautiful thing in the picture I took above.  At night, Karn invited his Thai posse and they cooked dinner for us at the Residency.  Only problem is that they all work in Thai restaurants and don’t get off until 11pm.  So by the time they started cooking and we could eat, it was 1am.  That was pretty ghetto.  I didn’t take pictures because I got drunk and fell asleep.”