Fifth incarnation expects to double last year's attendees number

Thailand is putting more bang into Bangkok.

The Thai government has stepped up its involvement in the Bangkok Intl. Film Festival, intent on underlining the word “international.”

The fifth edition runs Jan. 10-21, and organizers anticipate 40,000 attendees, more than double last year’s event.

Fest prexy Juthamas Siriwan, who also happens to be Thailand’s governor of tourism, says, “This year’s festival will stake its position as the prime pan-Asian launching platform for quality international filmmaking.”

Event will feature more than 70 films from 35 countries, including a dozen films in competition. The Julie Taymor-helmed “Frida” and Zhang Yimou’s “Hero” will be among those competing for the inaugural Golden Kinnaree awards. (A Kinnaree is an ancient Thai mythological figure.)

Fest’s worldwide exec director Patrick de Bokay adds, “The goal of this festival is to present the cinematic landscape of major world films to Asia, and this year’s lineup is a clear indication that we will showcase some of the finest the world has to offer.”

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more