A self-produced and self-released debut feature is among the Thai titles selected for this year's Busan International Film Festival.
Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit’s experimental “36” is in the New Currents competition for first- or second-time feature directors.
Comprised of 36 scenes, each a single camera set-up, it’s the story of a young woman who works as a film-company location scout who strikes up a relationship with an art director. A year later, the art director has moved on, but when her portable hard drive crashes, erasing all the photos she took with him, she struggles to resurrect those lost, fragmented memories.
A writer, director and film critic, Nawapol has made several award-winning short films and has also been a screenwriter on such blockbuster mainstream Thai films as “Top Secret Wairoon Pun Lan” and “Home”. He executive-produced “36” with support from GTH, indie director Aditya Assarat’s Pop Pictures and A Day magazine.
Nawapol handled the release of “36” himself, taking to Facebook to promote the screenings at such venues as the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Alliance Francaise and House cinema. He charged Bt100 a head and had sold-out crowds for most sessions.
Other Thai films at Busan include “Distortion” (“Kon-Loke-Jit”), the latest from veteran director Nonzee Nimibutr. It was developed out of the Thailand Script Project with support from the Busan fest’s Asian Project Market. Released in Thai cinemas earlier this year, the thriller is about a psychologist trying to unravel serial killings in Bangkok.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s experimental romantic drama “Mekong Hotel”, which premiered earlier this year at Cannes and has been shown at many other festivals, also screens in Busan.
And there’s “Four Stations”, actor-director Boonsong Nakphoo’s compilation of four short stories by well-known Thai authors from each of Thailand’s four regions. It screened earlier this year in a limited release at Bangkok’s Lido theatre.
The Asian Short Film competition has “Oriole”, a 15-minute work by Kaynipa Polnikorn, an Australian-schooled filmmaker who worked as an assistant on Ekachai Uekrongtham’s “Pleasure Factory”.
Also of Thai interest is “Poor Folk”, a new feature by Taiwanese-Myanmarese director Midi Z, about a ethnic migrant worker’s ill-fated dash across the border to the “promised land” of Thailand.