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Westside Story to get early special screening from from Bangkok

Bangkokians are due to get a special pre-festival screening of the classic Robert Wise Academy Award© winning film, West Side Story, on Sunday, February 12.
The movie will be shown free of charge on outdoor screens set up in public areas outside the massive new Siam Paragon retail and entertainment complex which will be used as the centre for the upcoming Bangkok International Film Festival (Feb 17 to 27).
The screening will feature musical performances of songs from West Side Story, along with a carnival and special food presentations. The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the screening is scheduled to begin at approximately 6:45 p.m.
A special appearance by actor David Winters, who played A-rab in the classic musical, will be a highlight of the presentation.
West Side Story was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, taking home ten of the coveted statues, including the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (George Chakiris), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Rita Moreno), Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture), Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best Director in a shared credit for the first time (Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins).
The Bangkok International Film Festival (BIFF) will also screen several other films featuring dance, including a special tribute to Dancing Through the Lens featuring the art of actor/director Gene Kelly. An American in Paris, and Singin’ In the Rain, are scheduled to screen as part of Cinematographer’s Day.
Documentaries with a spotlight on dance include Ballet Russes, Iberia, and Rize. There will also be a special presentation of Perhaps Love.
With over 150 films accepted to date, ranging from major U.S. studio features to small independent films and documentaries, the 2006 program represents the best line-up of films to date for the festival which is now in its fourth year.
Among those confirmed to attend BIFF are: Vanessa Redgrave, Terry Gilliam, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Lee, Carlo Nero, Peter Chan, Thom Fitzgerald, Diane Ladd, Deepa Mehta, Fernando Meirelles, Daniel Auteuil, Bruce Beresford, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Roger Donaldson, Oliver Stone, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Tracie Thoms, Anthony Dod Mantle, Tadanobu Asano, Gang Hy Jung, Danis Tanovic, Vincent Ward and Nadine Monfils.
Thailand’s Pen-Ek Ratanaruang’s Invisible Waves has been selected as the Opening Night film and Chris Columbus’ Rent has been selected for the Closing Night Gala.
By Jeremy Colson

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