Well-known Thai director and producer, Pimpaka Towira has been appointed as program director of the Singapore International Film Festival. She replaces Zhang Wenjie, who stepped down at the end of last year.
As well as making films “Mae Nak” and “One Night Husband,” Towira has previous experience of organizing film festivals. She was program director at the Bangkok International Film Festival in 2001, 2008 and 2009, and program director at the Bangkok ASEAN festival from 2015 to 2017. Towira begins operation in Singapore immediately ahead of a 28th edition that kicks off in late November (Nov. 23 – Dec. 3, 2017).
“My role is to develop the program and to demonstrate the festival’s commitment to South East Asia,” Towira told Variety. “I’ve always wanted to contribute as both a film maker and a festival organizer.” Towira expects to be involved across the range of the festival’s strands. These include the Silver Screen Awards competition, the SE Asian Film Lab, the Youth Jury and Critics programs. The festival is expected to screen some 65-70 titles and announce its lineup in last September or early October.
“This region has a rich story telling tradition with major directors such as Brillante Mendoza, Lav Diaz and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, as well as many up and coming talents. We can do so much more if we work together. I should like to bring filmmakers from Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos more in to view and help them connect to the international film scene.”