Threeleading Thai production companies, GMM Tai Hub, Five Star and RS Film, lastFriday quit the Federation of the National Film Association of Thailand (FNFAT)in support of the upcoming Bangkok International Film Festival (BKKIFF) whichstarts on 17 February.

RightBeyond has also submitted its resignation on Monday while CM Film is understoodto be the next member company to do so.

FNFAT,which consists of over 900 members of 11 categories from production anddistribution to exhibition and the press, has urged its members not to showsupport to the festival this year when it felt left out by festival organizers,Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in planning the festival and the filmmarket.

Theresignations came after member companies failed to persuade FNFAT and chairman Somsak Techaratanaprasert (who is also head of Sahamongkolfilm)to reconsider the boycott against the festival during an emergency meeting held lastweek.

'The idea of the boycott is not the right thing todo. We all want to help the industry grow and the government is spending lotsof money in promoting Thai cinema through the festival,' says Aphiradee Iamphungphorn,executive director of Five Star.

Despite the boycott, this year's edition of BKKIFFhas Thai films in all categories of competition and in every section of thefestival. Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Invisible Waves is in competition in theinternational category, The Tin Mine,Ahimsa: Stop to Run and 3 Friendsare competing in the Asian category and TheStories from the North is in the documentary competition. Dear Dakanda, Opps! There'sDad, Ghost of Mae Nak, Art of the Devil 2 and The King Maker are selected for Windowson the World section whereas Innocence andThings that Move: Fireflies arescreened at the documentary section of Reel World.

'The quality of films is such that we don't needa special showcase for them in their own section as has been the case in thepast with The Thai Panorama. These films and filmmakers are more than worthyand can compete in our international line-up,' says Jennifer Stark, BKKIFFdirector of programming.