In an unexpected move, Thailand has dropped Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Invisible Waves as its entry for the bestforeign-language film category of the Oscars and submitted Kittikorn Leosakun'sAhimsa: Stop To Run instead.

The Federation of National FilmAssociation, responsible for selecting and submitting a Thai candidate, told Screendaily that it was forced to drop Invisible Waves when local producer FiveStar could not meet the application deadline on October 2. Local press reports suggestedthat Five Star withdrew from the selection.

However, Five Star executivedirector Aphiradee Iamphungphorn says the company was working on submitting thefilm and was surprised by the federation's decision: "It's an honour to beselected, which was widely reported in the local and international press. Ourco-production partners and distributors were so glad. It's embarrassing thatthe federation submitted another film instead, without even notifying us."

Wouter Barendrecht,co-chairman of Fortissimo Films which co-produced and is selling the film,says: "Invisible Waves has provenitself to be Thailand's most prominent film in 2006 with over 50territories sold and numerous invitations to very prestigious festivals aroundthe globe. We don't see any logical or justifiable reason for their [the federation's]action."

Invisible Waves premiered in competition at Berlin this year and recently had its North Americanpremiere in Toronto. A US release is scheduled for early 2007.

Ahimsa,produced by RS Production, is a comedy drama about a young man Ahimsa who is hauntedby visions of the future. It competed for best Asean film during the BangkokInternational Film Festival early this year. Director Kittikorn's previouscredits include Saving Private Tootsie(2002) and Goal Club (2001).