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‘Import/Export’ wins Bangkok fest

'Phantom Love' wins for artistic achievement

Cannes competition pic “Import/Export” by Austrian auteur Ulrich Siedl won the best film prize Saturday at the fifth Bangkok World Film Festival.

Nina Menkes’ “Phantom Love” won for artistic achievement while Turkish Semih Kaplanoglu won director honors for “Egg,” which preemed at Cannes in Directors’ Fortnight.

Lee Kang-sheng’s “Help Me Eros” picked up the special jury award. Jury included German filmmaker Fred Keleman, Bangkok-based painter Elizabeth Romhild, Thai helmer Ithisunthorn Wichailuck and Thai critic Niwat Kongpian.

The 11-day WFF, which wrapped Sunday, unspooled at a new venue at the Esplanade Cineplex and incorporated the EU Film Festival as part of its 70-film program.

“We saw the same number of people in attendance, around 20,000,” said fest director Kriangsak “Victor” Silakong. “What’s surprising was the audience was enthusiastic about difficult films, like ‘Phantom Love’ or ‘The Man From London.’ It made the festival lively.”

The WFF is hosted by the Nation Multimedia. The festival is known for its smart programming, but lacks the coin to expand its scope.

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