Bangkok takes foreign fare

Imports compete at film festival

Israel’s “Beaufort,” Taiwan’s “Spider Lilies,” China’s “Lost in Beijing” and the U.K.’s “This Is England” are among the pics selected to compete for the Golden Kinnaree awards at the Bangkok Film Festival (July 19-29).

Roster is complemented by “Ploy,” local helmer Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Cannes title, and the only Thai film premiering in competition, “Bangkok Time.” Pic about a male prostitute is helmed by Santi Taepanic and, like “Ploy,” stars Ananda Everingham.

Four of the 10 competition titles have yet to be announced.

Announcement underlines fest’s commitment to make up for lost time and put together a viable program, despite a budget that has been slashed and a makeshift new programming team.

“We’ve built up from the list prepared by the previous programmers and tried to make it more comprehensive,” said Kriangsak Silakong, the fest’s chief programmer.

Earlier this year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which bankrolls the festival, parted with the fest’s original Thai programmers, Chalida Uabumrungjit and Mai Meksawan. In an unorthodox move, TAT then installed Kriangsak — who also programs Bangkok’s other key film event, the World Film Festival in October — as its temporary selector.

Competition section will be complemented by the Asean Competition, which has served as a showcase for bright talents from Southeast Asian countries in the past year, and will count 10 titles.

“There will also be a Thai panorama section to showcase 12 Thai films of the past six months, including the two ‘Naresuan’ movies and last year’s much-talked about thriller, ’13 Beloved,’ ” Kriangsak said.

The Federation of National Film Assns. of Thailand will organize an accompanying Bangkok Film Market.

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