Bangkok fest embraces homegrown cinema

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Bangkok fest embraces homegrown cinema

Will promote Thailand as filmmaking destination

By Patrick Frater

Aug 17, 2009, 01:48 PM ET

HONG KONG -- The seventh Bangkok International Film Festival is set to be an event more focused on regional cinema than in previous years, organizers said.

"The film program will reflect and display the growing strength of filmmakers in the ASEAN region, the role of film in rapidly changing societies, and the technological developments that have made this possible," said Jareuk Kaljareuk, chairman of the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand and festival director. "The program will focus particularly on the new generation of filmmakers in the region, throughout Asia, and around the world."

Kaljareuk said the lineup would include more than 80 films, but at a news conference in Bangkok on Monday he did not name any. He confirmed, however, that celebrities including Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lee Byung-hun and action star Armand Assante are scheduled to attend.

The event, which is backed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, will unspool at the SF World Cinema and Paragon Cineplex in downtown Bangkok from Sept. 24-30.

Promoting Thailand as a filmmaking destination is also high on the agenda. "(The festival) is a great opportunity to promote the Thai film industry and also promote Thailand not only as the entertainment hub of the region, but as an increasingly important international filmmaking center," Tourism Authority chairman Weerasak Kowsurat said.

"For a number of years, the Thai film industry has expanded both in its technological advances, its professional skills, and its artistic development. It is ready to take its place as a leading member of the international filmmaking community," Kaljareuk said.



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