The local film community in Bangkok is launching a Director's Screen project as part of an initiative to promote independent cinema.

Aditya Assarat's multiple award-winning Wonderful Town will kick-start the series when it opens on May 15, and will be followed by Pimpaka Towira's documentary Truth Be Told on May 29.

Both releases will be played exclusively at SF Cinema City's flagship in CentralWorld entertainment complex for a four-week run each.

Not limited to Thai films, the series will also showcase international films in the second half of the year.

'Arthouse films are always associated with standalone venues for a limited crowd. We bring the project to a multiplex in a shopping mall with the objective of reaching out to a more diverse group of audience,' said Mai Meksawan of Extra Virgin, the distributor of Truth Be Told. The company works closely with Aditya's Pop Pictures on Wonderful Town's release.

Existing prominent art cinemas in Bangkok include Lido in Siam Square and House. 'There's a lack of distributors rather than venues for independent films, as it's very costly to do theatrical release on a wider platform than film club screenings. We hope that digital distribution would help to bring the cost down in the future,' Mai added.

Mai and film-maker Pimpaka, the founding partners of startup Extra Virgin, have recently been appointed by the Bangkok International Film Festival to work on the programming of this year's edition. Both of them along with artistic director Yongyoot Thongkongtoon are currently in Cannes scouting films. The festival is now pushed back to September.