World Film Festival of Bangkok

World Film Festival of Bangkok

Infobox Film Festival
name = World Film Festival of Bangkok

caption =
date = Held annually in October/November
number =
host = Nation Multimedia Group
location = Bangkok, Thailand
language = English, Thai
website =
The World Film Festival of Bangkok (Thai:เทศกาลภาพยนตร์โลกแห่งกรุงเทพฯ) is an annual international film festival held in October in Bangkok.

The 6th Annual World Film Festival of Bangkok will be held between 24 October-2 November, 2008.


Nation Multimedia Group, a leading media company based in Thailand, organised the first Bangkok film festival in the country in 1998. Various international films were screened to promote cinematic art and film appreciation in Thailand. The event was held annually until 2002. The Tourism Authority of Thailand became the main organizer and changed the name to the Bangkok International Film Festival.

Since 2003, the World Film Festival of Bangkok has been held annually in October by the Nation Multimedia Group with Mr Kriengsak Victor Silakong as the festival director.

The 1st World Film Festival of Bangkok 2003 was held at the Grand EGV Theatre, Siam Discovery from October 17-26 with more than 80 international films both from young talent and cinema masters. The Retrospective presented the works of Fritz Lang, Satyajit Ray, Jean Cocteau and Werner Herzog along with screening of more than 10 Indian films. The Best Feature went to “Swimming Pool” from France. The jurors included Jiri Menzel, a Czech film legend and Naowarat Pongpaiboon, a Thai National Artist in Literature Art.

In 2004, the Lotus Award was given for the first time to people who had devoted their careers to the film industry. The first honouree was Thai comedy master Dokdin Kanyamarn. Additionally, “Mr Tui”, Dokdin's famous comedy, was remastered with English subtitles. This film was also presented in the “Masters of Comedy” program with films from world-renowned masters such as Jacques Tati, Charles Chapin, Terry Gilliam as well as Jackie Chan with his documentary film “”.

The event also focused on seminars and activities by co-operating with the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the Fonds Sud Cinéma from France, to hold a discussion to guide film producers seeking international funds for their film projects. It also arranged a film rating system workshop that allowed the participants to categorize films shown at the festival.

After the successful workshop, the rating system was introduced to all films shown at the 3rd World Film Festival of Bangkok 2005. It also held a workshop on fund raising for new film projects with the support of the Festival of Three Continents from Nantes, France and Produire Au Sud. At the end of the workshop, the most interesting film projects in Southeast Asia were selected to receive funds and were invited to the final selection in France. This was the 2nd Produire au Sud Bangkok.

The 2005 festival featured the “Tsunami Digital Short Films”. Both Thai and international film-makers were given s budget from the Ministry of Cultural Office of Contemporary Art and Culture to make short films as a memorial tribute on the first anniversary of the tsunami disaster. Mr Kriengsak Silakong was an executive producer of the project. It included the works of a number of Thai directors, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thunska Pansittivorakul, Pramote Sangsorn, Lek Manont, Naowarat Saowanich, Pipope Panitchpakdi, Santi Taepanich, Pimpaka Towira, Somkid Thamniamdi, Sompot Chidgasornpongse and Suchada Sirithanawuddhi and Christelle Lheureux from France, Folke Ryden from Sweden and Margaret Bong Chew Jen from Malaysia. The short films were premiered at both this festival and many other international film festivals around the world.

This year’s highlight included the special guest and Academy Award-winning Polish film director Roman Polanski, who attended the festival for the Lotus Award presentation. His film “Oliver Twist” was also selected as the opening film. Among the highlights was the film screenings of the new wave from Czech Republic and Turkey Film Focus and the Retrospective of the films of Ulrike Ottinger and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. “War and Peace”, a seven-hour epic film based on the eponymous book, was shown and attracted great interest.

The Best Feature 2005 went to the Sri Lankan film The Forsaken Land” by Vimukthi Jayasundara and led to a provocative and lively discussion as to the facts shown in the film.

With the support of the Polish Embassy, the 4th World Film Festival of Bangkok 2006 presented a Retrospective of the late and legendary Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski and included his hard-to-find works like “The Calm”, “Short Working Day” and “The Underground Passage”. Special events featured the poster exhibition of a world famous artist and designer Rafał Olbiński who was one of the jurors.

The festival opened with the Chinese big budget movie “The Banquet” from the director Feng Xiaogang before its wide release in Thailand. Additionally, it won the People's Choice Award.

The 5th World Film Festival of Bangkok 2007 was held at the The Esplanade Cineplex with the concept “Catch the Feeling”. The festival continued to retain its emphasis on vigorous and enthusiastic international films from various cultures, together with special activities. This festival was honoured by The European Union Film Festival joining the event with its best 20 European feature films.

The 2007 film festival as it co-operated with MCOT Public Company Limited to hold a short film competition open to the public. Students focused on “Father” and “The World through My Eyes”, based on the poem of the 2007 S.E.A. Write Award winner Montri Sriyong respectively.

The activity “From Books to Celluloid” featured talks on “Butterfly and Flowers” with the writer Nippan and the director Euthana Mukdasanit, and “Conversation with Suchart Sawadsri” with this prominent writer for his debut of short films “Personal Histories” which also screened at the festival.

The 2007 Lotus Award was presented to Euthana Mukdasanit , while the Best Feature was “Import/Export” from Austria. The People’s Choice Award was discontinued.


With an emphasis on predominantly independent films from mostly emerging directors, the festival's competition section is the Harvest of Talents. Awards are given for best feature, best director, best script and best artistic direction, though from year to year, jurors are given flexibility of changing the categories, depending on the merits of the selected films. For example, one year there might be a Best Cinematography award, but not in other years. In 2007, the jury did not want to give an award for best script, and the artistic direction award was changed to "artistic creativity." The jury is also free to give special jury awards. A People's Choice Award goes to the film with highest attendance, and is open to all films in the festival. Non-competitive sections of the festival include Aean Cinema, Asian Contemporary, Documentary, Retrospective, Tribute, World Cinema and Short Film.

In 2004, the festival give its first Lotus Award, given to veteran filmmakers for lifetime achievement. The first honoree was Thai actor-director Dokdin Kanyamarn. Subsequent honorees have included Roman Polanski and Euthana Mukdasanit.

In 2005, the festival initiated its Produire Au Sud (Producers of the South) project, in cooperation with the Festival of Three Continents, which seeks to provide funding to independent film producers to start new film projects.

Particular years

1st World Film Festival of Bangkok (2003)

Harvest of Talents competition

Jury Member

*Jiri Menzel (Czech Republic)Czech Veteran Film Maker
*Guy de la Chevalerie (France)Cultural Conseller.French Embassy
*Dr. Hans-Peter Rodenberg (Germany)Professor
*K.S.Sasidharam (India)Director of National Film Archive of India, PUNE
*Naovarat Pongpaiboon' (Thailand)Thailand National Artist (Literature)
*Nick Palevsky (USA)Film Specialist

Films in competition

*"Anaahat" (Amol Palekar, India)
*"Arimpara" (Murali Nair, India)
*"It’s Easier for a Camel" (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, France)
*"Last Life in the Universe" (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Thailand)
*"Spring Subway" (Zhang Yibai, China)
*"Stormy Weather" (Pedro Olea, Spain)
*"Swimming Pool" (Francois Ozon, France)
*"The Wind Bird" (Inoka Sathyangan, Sri Lanka)


* Best Feature: "Swimming Pool"
* Best Script: "Swimming Pool"
* Best Art Direction: "Anaahat"
*Jury’s Prize: "Last Life in the Universe"
* People’s Choice Award: "Russian Ark" (Russia)

2nd World Film Festival of Bangkok (2004)

Harvest of Talents competition

Jury Member

*Prof. Surapone Virulrak (Thailand)Dean, Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University.
*Andreas Strohl (Germany)Director of Munich Filmfest, Executive Director of International Munchner Filmwochen GmbH, Managing Director of International Festival of Film Schools Munich.
*Christian Jeune (France)Director of Film Department, Cannes Film Festival
*Renen Schorr (Israel)Founder-Director of the Sam Spiegel Film & TV School, Jerusalem
*Vincent Wang (Taiwan)Film Producer


* "Aviv" (Tomer Heymann, Israel)
* "Lost Embrace" (Daniel Burman, Argentina)
* "Suite Habana (Fernando Perez, Cuba)
* "Seaward Journey (Guillermo Casanova, Uruguay)
* "Or" ( Keren Yedaya, Cinema of Israel|Israel)
* "The Edukators" (Hans Weingartner, Germany)
* "Breath of Fresh Air" (Sandeep Sawant, India)
* "The Fifth Reaction" (Tahmineh Milani, Iran)
* "Honey Baby" (Mika Kaurismaki, Finland)


* Best Feature: "Lost Embrace"
* Best Script: "The Edukators"
* Best Art Direction: "Seaward Journey"
* Jury’s Prize: "Aviv"
* People’s Choice Award: "Torremolinos 73" (Spain)
* Lotus Award: Dokdin Kanyamarn

3rd World Film Festival of Bangkok (2005)

Held from October 14 to 24. Special guests included Roman Polanski (with a retrospective of his films) and the premiere of the "Tsunami Digital Short Films", curated by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. [ [ 3rd World Film Festival of Bangkok] .]

Harvest of Talents competition

Jury Member

Nadine Tarbouriech (France)Film Editor
Robert Haliday (USA)Film Critic
Grittiya Gaweewong (Thailand)Thai Independent Curator
Sonthaya Subyen (Thailand)Film Programmer, DK Film House
Michal Bregant (Czech Republic)Dean of Prague Film Academy


*"Forsaken Land" (Vimukthi Jayasundara, Sri Lanka)
*"One Night" (Niki Karimi, Iran)
*"Live Your Dream (Peter Lichtefeid, Germany)
*"4" (Ilya Khrzhanovsky, Russia)
*"Battle in Heaven" (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico)
*"Days of Santiago" (Josue Mendez, Peru)
*"Grand Voyage" (Ismael Ferrouji, Morocco)
*"Angel’s Fall" (Semih Kaplanoglu, Turkey)
*"La Moustache" (Emmanuel Carrere, France)
*"Turn Left at the End of the World" (Avi Nesher, Israel)


* Best Feature: "Forsaken Land"
* Best Script: "Days of Santiago"
* Best Art Direction: "4"
* Jury’s Prize: "Turn Left at the End of the World"
* People’s Choice Award: "Grand Voyage"
* Lotus Award: Roman Polanski

4th World Film Festival of Bangkok (2006)

Held from October 11 to 23 at Paragon Cineplex, Major Cineplex Central World and Grand EGV. Special guests included Polish poster designer Rafal Olbinski, who also was on the Harvest of Talents jury. Other jurors were Thai film critic Anchalee Chaiworaporn, Austrian director Titus Leber, Iranian director
Tahmineh Milani and Turkish actress
Meltem Cumbul. The festival opened with the Chinese film The Banquet and closed with the Russian silent classic The Battleship Potemkin.

Harvest of Talents competition


* "" (, Romania, 2006), directed by Corneliu Porumboiu
* "Chicha tu Madre" (Peru/Argentina, 2006), directed by Gianfranco Quattrini
* "Climates" (Turkey, 2006), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
* "Close to Home" (Israel, 2005), directed by Dalia Hager and Vidi Bilu
* "Isabella" (Hong Kong, 2006), directed by Pang Ho-Cheung
* "Ode to Joy" (Poland, 2005), directed by Anna Kazejak-Dawid, Jan Komasa and Maciej Migas
* "Seeds of Doubt" (Germany, 2005), directed by Samir Nasr
* "The Right of the Weakest" (Belgium, 2006), directed by Lucas Belvaux


* Best Feature: "Isabella"
* Best Cinematography: "Climates"
* Best Script: "Seeds of Doubt"
* Jury’s Prize: ""
* People's Choice Award: "The Banquet" (China, 2006), directed by Feng Xiaogang [ [ "HK film 'Isabella' bags top honour"] , "The Nation", October 23, 2006.]

5th World Film Festival of Bangkok (2007)

The 5th World Film Festival of Bangkok was held from October 25 to November 4 at the Esplanade Cineplex. The opening film was "", a Japanese-Mongolian co-production directed by Shinichirô Sawai, who was present for the screening. [ [ World Film Fest kicks off with epic and awards] , "The Nation (Thailand)"; retrieved 2007-10-26] [ [ Japan’s 'Khan' opens Thai fest] , "Hollywood Reporter"; retrieved 2007-10-26] The closing film was "Secret" directed by and starring Jay Chou.

A tribute section featured the films of Taiwanese actress, director, screenwriter and producer Sylvia Chang, who was present for the festival, and a retrospective was on the films of Percy Adlon. [ [ Bangkok festival sets sights high] , "Variety"; retrieved 2007-10-26] The annual European Union Film Festival, organized by the European Commission in Thailand since 1990, joined the World Film Festival with its own program. [ World Film Fest kicks off with epic and awards] , "The Nation (Thailand)"; retrieved 2007-11-04]

Harvest of Talents competition

Jury members were German cinematographer-director Fred Kelemen, Thai director Ittisoontorn Vichailak, Bangkok-based Danish painter Elizabeth Romhild, Thai critic Niwat Kongpian and Kulthep Narula, executive director of Benetone Film Company. [ [ Ten films, offering a variety of viewpoints, are gathered together in the Harvest of Talents] , "The Nation (Thailand)"; retrieved 2007-10-25]


*"4 Elements" (Netherlands, 2006), directed by Jiska Rickels
*"881" (Singapore, 2007), directed by Royston Tan
*"The Band's Visit" (Israel/France, 2007), directed by Eran Kolirin
*"Egg" (Turkey, 2007), directed by Semih Kaplanoğlu
*"Help Me Eros" (Taiwan, 2007), directed by Lee Kang-sheng
*"Import Export" (Austria, 2006), directed by Ulrich Seidl
*"Love Songs" (France, 2007), directed by Christophe Honore
*"Phantom Love" (United States, 2007), directed by Nina Menkes
*"Possible Lives" (Argentina, 2006), directed by Sandra Gugliotta
*"Tokyo Tower – Mom & Me, and Sometimes Dad" (Japan, 2007), directed by Joji Matsuoka


Jurors altered the awards selection, omitted the best script award, and changing the name of the artistic direction award to "artistic achievement". [ "Brave" Austrian film is No. 1] , "The Nation (Thailand)"; retrieved 2007-11-04] Additionally, the "People's Choice" award for film with best attendance was discontinued.
* Best film: "Import Export" (Austria, 2006), directed by Ulrich Seidl
* Best artistic achievement: "Phantom Love" (United States, 2007), directed by Nina Menkes
* Best director: Semih Kaplanoğlu, director of "Egg" (Turkey, 2007)
* Special jury awards:
**"Help Me Eros" (Taiwan, 2007), directed by Lee Kang-sheng
**"The Band's Visit" (Israel/France, 2007), directed by Eran Kolirin
* Lotus Award: Euthana Mukdasanit

ee also

* Bangkok International Film Festival
* Cinema of Thailand
* List of cinemas in Thailand
* Thai Short Film and Video Festival


External links

* [ Festival website]

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