The inaugural Thai Film Festival in Malaysia kicks off on April 20 with five movies.
A Gift, Take Me Home, Mr Hurt, One Day and The Crown will be showing at Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) outlets at Mid Valley Megamall and Pavilion KL in Kuala Lumpur, and 1Utama in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The seven-day film festival runs until April 26.
Screenings are free of charge.
Organised by the Royal Thai Embassy in cooperation with the ministry of foreign affairs of Thailand and the National Federation of Motion Pictures and Contents Associations of Thailand, this film festival is part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Thailand.
“This film festival is something we are excited about. Thailand has a long history in film production and right now it is a huge industry. We believe that film is powerful. It is the best means to tell stories, to appreciate culture and bring us closer to each other,” says Damrong Kraikruan, ambassador of Thailand to Malaysia.
“We have all heard the saying, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. So, thousands of pictures in each of the films would surely be worth millions of words!” he adds.
Four out of the five films featured in the festival were nominated and/or awarded at the National Subannahongsa Awards in Thailand recently.
According to Nutta Vasantasingh, second secretary of the Royal Thai Embassy, each title demonstrated “the Thai way of life and thinking”. They were all chosen with care.
“Each movie reflects the Thai culture, or ‘Thainess’, and have their own uniqueness that showcases the film industry in Thailand. This is based not only on know-how but also the creativity of the people involved,” she says.
For instance, A Gift was inspired by music composed by the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away last year.
The compositions, sung or played by the characters in the film, serve as an integral part of the plot.
“We sincerely hope that the audience will come out of the cinema with smiles on their faces as well as a better grasp of the Thai film industry,” Nutta says.
Here are the movies featured in the Thai Film Festival:
A Gift – Four directors put their heads together in this intriguing romantic drama that examines love in all its aspects. The stories range from a woman who quits her job to take care of her ageing father with fading memory, to a retired rocker who now works as a financial analyst. There is also one about two strangers who have to pretend they are a married couple at an event.
One Day – Geeky computer whiz Denchai has his world turned upside down when a wish he makes comes true. He’s convinced that a girl named Nui is out of his league. However, miracles happen when you wish upon a star. Can he really get the girl of his dreams, if only for one day? This blank slate is his to write upon… but can he? Or perhaps more tellingly, should he?
The Crown – An almost-blind dancer is determined that his craft must not die with him, so he vows to pass on his knowledge to his son. Unfortunately, Sing prefers the guitar to Manora art, and the family heritage has no place in his heart.
Take Me Home – It is an unsettling and mysterious homecoming for Tan, after surviving an accident that resulted in him losing his memory, and with it, his identity. He may be reunited with his family, but the nightmare is just beginning for this amnesiac. This horror flick doesn’t hold back on tragedy and family secrets!
Mr Hurt – He is a world champion tennis pro with a beautiful superstar girlfriend to boot. But, he is devastated when she turns down his marriage proposal in favour of dating a rock star. Can another woman mend his broken heart?