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World Film Festival Edition 6 ready to roll in Bangkok

A BRILLIANT selection of exciting, original and artistic films from all over the world will be presented at the 6th World Film Festival of Bangkok from October 24 to November 2, 2008. The programme includes classics from veteran directors and work by upcoming young bloods who bring fresh ideas to the screen.

More than 70 films will cover different societies, cultures, history and politics. They will also present the personal visions and ideas of directors through the language of cinema.


The films are categorised into eight sections:

Asian Contemporary:
Social issues and how life changes with different eras are the focus of this year's contemporary Asian films, which include ‘Chants of Lotus' by four female directors from Indonesia depicting the rapid social changes affecting both the older and younger generations caught between the traditional and modern worlds.

The Thai film ‘Moment in June', which opens the festival, looks at a group of individuals from various angles, while a Malaysian film ‘Sell Out' scoffs at consumerism via a TV Reality Show.
‘Tulpan' from Kazakhstan, which won the ‘Un Certain Regard' award at the Cannes Film Festival 2008, tells the story of a young man's attempts to marry a beautiful girl from his village, and also reveals how the urban lifestyle is intruding on traditional rural ways.


World Cinema:
Films from Europe, North America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East include ‘Eat, For This Is My Body', a much talked about surrealist film from Haiti, that tackles the country's political challenges and the deprivation caused by colonialism.

Other notable inclusions in the World Cinema include: ‘Three Monkeys', the latest work by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan; ‘New Age', the first feature by Israel female artist Keren Cytter; a beautiful German drama ‘Cherry Blossoms-Hanami' and two animations from America and Israel ‘Sita Sings the Blues', which is derived from the Indian epic Ramayana and ‘Waltz with Bashir' that strongly criticises the Iraq war and won high praise at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Latin America:
The character of films from Latin America emerges from its specific identity "hot and spicy but great food for thought". This year the festival is presenting films by new wave directors including ‘The Headless Woman' and ‘La Rabia' from Argentina; ‘The Path' from Costa Rica, ‘The Sky, The Earth and The Rain' from Chile and ‘The Watercolourist' from Peru.

One of the great Brazilian directors Hector Babenco has been selected for praise with his three most famous films: ‘Pixote, the Law of the Weakest', ‘Kiss of The Spider Woman' and his latest work from 2007 ‘The Past' with Gael Garcia Bernal in the leading role.



Lotus Award: Shyam Benegal
The "Lotus Award" is presented to outstanding individuals in the film industry who are an inspiration to others in developing their own talent. This year the prolific Indian director and screenwriter Shyam Benegal has been selected to receive the award. His five masterpieces to be screened during the 6th WFF are 'Manthan', 'Bhumika', 'Mandi', 'Samar' and 'Zubeidaa'.


Retrospective: Derek Jarman
The late Derek Jarman was an English film director, stage designer, artist and writer. His distinctive approach to film making that broke almost all traditional styles influenced many New Wave directors.

Fourteen years after his death, the WFF presents his three masterpieces: ‘Caravaggio', ‘Jubilee', and ‘The Angelic Conversation' to commemorate one of the great film directors of the world. Also to be screened is the documentary 'Derek' written and produced in 2007 by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, long-time co-worker of Jarman and directed by Isaac Julien.


Documentaries:
The "must see" documentaries being shown at the 6th WFF include ‘Shine a Light' directed by Martin Scorsese on ‘The Rolling Stones'; ‘Return to Goree', a Senegal-Switzerland-Luxembourg documentary tracing the life of the world famous Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour; ‘Lady Kul El Arab', an Israeli production that follows the dream of an Arab girl who wants to enter a beauty queen competition in Israel and creates conflict in her village; ‘Jerusalem: The East Side Story', a fascinating look at Jerusalem from a Palestinian perspective; ‘A Jihad for Love' about the fight for rights of the third gender in the Arab world; ‘Her Name is Sabine' about an autistic girl directed by well-known actress Sandrine Bonnair, and ‘Listener's Tale' an experimental documentary from India.


Short Films:
Short films have marked a significant milestone for many successful film directors. Twenty short films have been selected and categorised into two groups to be presented at the 6th WFF: ‘All Human Beings Are Born Free and Equal', focusing on short films from Germany, and ‘The Shorts' a selection of films from the Disability Film Festival 2008 in Bangkok.

New Media:
In this new era where multimedia plays such an important role, the 6th WFF, with support from the British Council, presents ‘Graphic Cities' a contemporary collection of mix media on screen.

Jeremy Colson

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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