The 2007 BangkokInternational Film Festival (BKKIFF), scheduled to start on January 26, hasbeen postponed until July, according to Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, co-festivaldirector and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)'s international publicrelations director.

The decision to delay theevent came after 'a potential cinema venue [decided] not to proceed withfurther discussions with TAT because of financial considerations', says TAT ina written statement. 'This unexpected decision has compelled TAT to significantlyalter its preparations, which had been having good progress until the suddenposition change by the theatre operator.'

'It is in the best interestof the festival and its participants that the event is moved to enable a smoothtransition to a new venue and to allow ample time for the acquisition ofquality films,' the statement continues.

The 2006 BKKIFF was held forthe first time in the Siam Paragon shopping centre in downtown Bangkok where exhibitor Major Cineplex operates a 16-screenmultiplex.

BKKIFF has undergone onemajor crisis after another during the past year. Following the departure ofexecutive director Craig Prater last April, the contract with US consultingfirm Film Festival Management (FFM) was terminated last month due to a considerablebudget cut.

Last September's militarycoup prompted TAT to scale back all its sponsored events including the filmfestival. The 2007 BKKIFF has a budget of $3.6m (baht 130m), down approximately27% from the last edition.

The specific dates and festivalvenue along with the appointment of a new festival director will be announcedin early January.