Turkey's Golden Orange fest counts to '36'
Experimental indie romance takes top international prize
NAWAPOL THAMRONGRATTANRIT’S acclaimed 2012 feature debut “36” is still making the rounds on the festival circuit, most recently picking up the Best Film Award in the International Competition at last week’s 50th International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival in Turkey.
Nawapol was at the Busan festival with his latest feature “Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy”, so it fell to the “36” stars, actor Wanlop Rungkamjad and actress Vajrasthira Koramit, to be there and accept the trophy in a glamour-filled ceremony that was broadcast on Turkish CNN.
Given a limited release in Thai cinemas last year, “36” takes its title from the number of shots on a roll of camera film. Remember film? It’s also the number of shots that Nawapol set up to tell his story of a young woman struggling to retrieve digital images that were lost on her computer, and remember her fleeting romance with a work colleague.
Back in Busan, it was announced that Nawapol’s producer Aditya Assarat had reached deal for “36’ with distributor Day for Night in the UK, so Thai film fans there have something to look forward to.
The film won last year’s New Currents Award in Busan plus prizes here at home and at fests in Manila, Hong Kong, St Petersburg and probably a bunch more.
Nawapol’s latest effort “Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy”, a story based on a teenage girl’s Twitter feed, premiered at Venice and aside from Busan also screened at Chile’s Valdivia Film Festival. Upcoming appearances include the Tokyo International Film Festival, the 10th Hong Kong Asian Film Festival, and on November 28, a limited release in Thailand.
Down for “Countdown”
Thailand’s Oscar submission “Countdown” will get a release in the US and Canada next year by Birch Tree Entertainment.
If you missed it, it’s the story of three Thai brats living in New York City who want to celebrate the New Year by smoking dope. For their sins, they are terrorised by an unhinged drug dealer named Jesus. He’s played by David Asavanond, whose performance won the Thai film industry’s top-prize Subhanahongsa Award for best actor. Produced by the GTH studio, “Countdown” also won best screenplay for the story by director Nattawut “Baz” Poonpiriya, who’d based it on a short film he made as a student in NYC.
“We are very excited about this acquisition. After seeing the exceptional storytelling skills and visual style of Nattawut Poonpiriya and the breakout performance of David Asavanond, we knew we had discovered a gem. We hope the Academy members will share our enthusiasm,” Art Birzneck, Birch Tree president and CEO raved to The Hollywood Reporter this week. “We are very happy to continue our relationship with GTH, Thailand’s premiere production company.”
Through its Action Slate label, Birch Tree previously released GTH’s acclaimed hit 2011 thriller “Laddaland” on DVD in North America.
Birch Tree also released a pair of action flicks from Thai stuntman and actor Michael B, “The Sanctuary” and “Brave”.