26 Apr – The 3rd edition of the Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival kicks off today in Thailand, and a total of three films from Malaysia have been selected to be part of the festival.
Two of the films, "Interchange" and "Singing in Graveyards", will be vying for the awards in the ASEAN Film Competition while the third, "Temuan Takdir", will be screened as part of the ASEAN Film Showcase.
The aforementioned two Malaysian films are among the ten titles shortlisted for the inaugural main competitive section of the film festival, which focuses on films made between 2016 and 2017 that feature outstanding content, approach and style.
Malaysia-Indonesia collaboration "Interchange", directed by Dain Said, premiered in Malaysian cinemas last December. It has participated in various film festivals across the globe, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Singapore International Film Festival and the inaugural Malaysia International Film Festival (MIFFEST) & Malaysia Golden Global Awards (MGGA).
Director Bradley Liew's Malaysia-Philippines joint effort "Singing in Graveyards", his debut movie at the Venice International Film Critics' Week last year, was also part of MIFFEST & MGGA (winning Best Film). It has also won the Best Film accolade at the 2016 Kolkata International Film Festival.
In the ASEAN Film Competition, the two Malaysian titles will go up against eight other films: "In the Flesh" (Thailand-Japan), "Pop Aye" (Singapore-Thailand), "A Yellow Bird" (Singapore), "Dearest Sister" (Laos), "Turn Left Turn Right" (Cambodia), "Birdshot" (Philippines-Qatar), "Father and Son" (Vietnam), and "Solo, Solitude" (Indonesia).
Two winners will be chosen. One will walk away with the Best ASEAN Film award, which includes a trophy and USD10,000, and the other will bring home the Jury Prize, inclusive of a trophy and USD5,000.
Meanwhile, "Temuan Takdir" has been chosen by the Malaysian embassy to represent the country in the film festival's ASEAN Film Showcase section, where each of the other eight films is also picked by its respective country's embassy.
The police-themed film by first-time director Dhyan Vimal has won accolades at various international film festivals last year including Best Director and Best Original Score at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Humanitarian Award at the TMC London Film Festival and Best New Filmmaker at the Chandler International Film Festival.
"Temuan Takdir" will be screened alongside representative films from Thailand ("By the Time It Gets Dark"), Laos ("Kwan-Nang"), Cambodia ("Vikaljarek"), Singapore ("Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen"), Vietnam ("Ho Chi Minh in Siam"), Brunei ("Waris"), Myanmar ("By Coincidence"), and Indonesia ("Senjakala di Manado").
The Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival takes place at Paragon Cineplex and SF World Cinema from today until 1 May 2017.
The closing ceremony, which also doubles as the awards ceremony, will be held on 1 May at Parc Paragon, Siam Paragon.