Bangkok’s premier regional film festival to return this week with physical screenings

The Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival is part of a growing calendar of live events in the city

The Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival is set to happen this week, as Thailand marks 100 days without local coronavirus cases.

The festival will mark its sixth edition with physical screenings arranged at SF World Cinema in central Bangkok. The cinema will host an opening ceremony on September 3 and an awards and closing ceremony on September 6.

The festival has had a focus on regional films, along with titles from China, Japan and South Korea. Five feature films will be showcased this year, along with an ASEAN Short Film Competition and a special screening of the 1972 film The Honeymoon, directed by Charin Nuntanakorn.

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Watch the trailer for The Honeymoon below.

The regional feature films presented are Rom by Vietnam’s Tran Thanh Huy, The Science of Fictions by Indonesia’s Yosep Anggi Noen and The Long Walk by Mattie Do from Laos. Rounding up the line-up are Balloon by China’s Pema Tseden and Koji Fukada’s A Girl Missing from Japan. All screenings are free admission, with most slots already filled up by reservation.

Today (September 2), Thailand marked 100 days without community transmission of the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.

In a report by ScreenDaily, Thailand’s Minister of Culture Ittipol Khunpluem said the festival was being held physically “to reassure the international film community and demonstrate the potential of the Thai film industry”.

“The Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival 2020 is an effort to revive the film industry by promoting the economy and boosting the morale of film professionals in Thailand as well as in the Southeast Asian region,” says Wissanu Krea-ngam, chairman of the country’s National Board of Film and Video, in an official statement.

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“The festival is a sign of cooperation among ASEAN members to drive the regional film industry towards our great success in the world stage.”

Other activities programmed for the festival include an online pitching workshop, a seminar, and a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation for Thai actress Petchara Chaowarat.

“Petchara remains a legend, a phenomenon and a great contributor to the evolution and history of Thai cinema,” the festival states. “It is an honor of the festival to invite her back to the limelight to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award this year.”

The festival is taking place amongst a growing calendar of live events in the city, including a music festival where the audience remained seated in tuk-tuks.

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