Thailand has chosen Mon-rak Transistor, the third film from hot Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang, as the country's official submission for the best foreign-language Oscar.
Produced by Cinemasia and Five Star Productions, the film is a genre-defying tale of an aspiring folk singer who is forced to abandon the love of his life in pursuit of stardom. The film screened in the Director's Fortnight section of this year's Cannes Film Festival and won the Asian Tradewinds Award at the Seattle Film Festival in June.
Fortissimo Film Sales is handling world sales on the film which has already sold to several international territories including the UK (Gala Film Distributors), France (Ocean Films), Italy (Lucky Red), Hong Kong (Ablaze) and Japan (Klockworx).
One of the top auteurs of Thailand's new wave, Ratanaruang previously directed Fun Bar Karaoke and 6ixtynin9. He recently finished shooting black comedy Last Life In The Universe, a co-production between Cinemasia and start-up outfit Bohemian Films, with a cast headed by Japanese superstar Asano Tadanobu.
The film joins a strong list of national submissions from Asia including Zhang Yimou's Hero from China, Chang Tso-chi's The Best Of Times from Taiwan and Lee Chang-dong's Oasis from South Korea.