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Berlin: M-appeal Picks Up ‘How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)’ (EXCLUSIVE)

LONDON — M-appeal World Sales has picked up “How to Win at Checkers (Every Time),” which plays in the Berlin Film Festival’s Panorama section.

The film, which is the directorial debut of Josh Kim, is adapted from the U.S. bestselling book “Sightseeing” by Rattawut Lapcharoensap. Pic tells the coming-of-age drama of two brothers struggling to survive and stay together in a land plagued by social and economic inequality.

An orphaned 11-year-old, Oat, learns to play the game of life while his older brother faces the possibility of being drafted into the Thai military. In Thailand, all males turning 21 years old must participate in the military draft lottery. Drawing a black card grants exemption. Drawing a red card results in two years of military service. When Ek and his long-time boyfriend Jai face the possibility of being drafted, Oat must grow up and learn to take care of himself.

The film introduces Ingkarat Damrongsakkul in his first lead role and features an ensemble cast that includes Thai superstar Toni Rakkaen, veteran Thai actors Kowit Wattanakul (“The Impossible,” “Only God Forgives”) and Michael Shaowanasai (“The Adventures of Iron Pussy”), as well as up-and-comers Thira Chutikul (“The Last Executioner”) and Arthur Navarat.

The Thai-U.S.-Indonesian co-production is produced by Edward Gunawan, Chris Lee and Anocha Suwichakornpong, with executive producer Andrew Tiernan, and support from Frameline Completion Fund and Creative Lab Hawaii.

Kim has directed three short films previously. His most recent work is “Draft Day,” a documentary short film that explores the process of Thailand’s unique draft military lottery from the perspectives of three transsexuals.

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