Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans will open this year’s Bangkok International Film Festival (BKIFF), fresh from its Venice premiere, while local production Sawasdee Bangkok will close the event.
Organised by the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the BKIFF is scheduled to take place Sep 24-30 at the Siam Paragon and the SF World Cinema in Bangkok.
It coincides with the Bangkok International Animation Film Festival (Sep 25-30), organised by Thailand’s Information and Communications Ministry and local agencies, which will open with French-Japanese animated feature Yona Yona Penguin.
Meanwhile, the second edition of the Thailand Entertainment Expo, a contents market organised by the Department of Export Promotion, will take place Sep 16-18 also at the Paragon.
Sawasdee Bangkok is an omnibus of nine short films by Thai directors including Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Wisit Sasanatieng and Aditya Assarat, that celebrate various aspects of the Thai capital.
The main compeititon section of the BKIFF will screen nine titles from North America, Europe and Asia, while the South-East Asian competition includes titles such as Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Nymph and Joko Anwar’s The Forbidden Door (see full list below).
The 24-title World Cinema section includes recent Cannes competition entries A Prophet and Broken Embraces, along with Asian titles such as Chinese filmmaker Yang Jin’s Er Dong, Bollywood title Delhi-6 and New Zealand’s The Strength of Water.
Other programmes include a tribute to Malaysian director Yasmin Ahmad who recently passed away, a documentary film showcase, and a screening of the 2009 Jeonju Digital Project.
International guests at the festival include James Belushi, Ving Rhames and Jean Claude Van Damme. In addition to screenings, the event will also host a series of parties, seminars and workshops culminating in the Golden Kinnaree Awards and closing ceremony on Sep 30.
The festival has been working hard to claw back credibility after it was rocked by a corruption scandal in 2007. This week, Los Angeles couple Gerald and Patricia Green were found guilty by a US federal jury of paying bribes to former TAT governor Juthamas Siriwan to run the festival between 2002 and 2007. They will be sentenced on December 17.
Bangkok International Film Festival 2009:
Everyone Else (Germany)
I Killed My Mother (Canada)
The Search (China)
Across the River (Iran)
South East Asian Competition:
The Moon At the Bottom of the Well (Vietnam)
Call If You Need Me (Malaysia)
In the House of Straw (Singapore)
The Forbidden Door (Indonesia)