12 July 2022 - The World Film Festival of Bangkok, which was last held in 2017, is to be revived under new leadership. It will be held in the Thai capital Dec. 2-11, 2022, the Nation newspaper announced.
The Nation Group backed the organization of 14 previous editions of the festival. It said that it had appointed Donsaron Kovitvanitcha, better known as Don, as the festival director.
The first editions of the festival were led by Kriengsak Silakong, better known as Victor. Victor died of a heart attack in March this year.
Don, who is both an experienced festival selector and an independent film producer, said that details such as the scale of the event and programming sections have yet to be finalized. “It will definitely be an international event,” he told Variety. Previous editions ran to a selection of 70-80 film titles.
“We hope that the new Bangkok mayor will agree to support the festival too,” said Don. Bangkok recently elected a pro-democracy mayor Chadchart Sittipuntto run the city. After replacing a government-appointed official, Sittipunt is keen to make a mark.
It is understood that the revived festival will be able to use the SF Cinema CentralWorld cinema complex as its screenings base.
The dates for this year’s festival coincide with CineAsia, a convention and trade show for the film distribution and exhibition industry, which will be held in a different part of Bangkok between Dec. 5-8, 2022. The temporal overlap means that senior executives from studios and distribution companies and overseas talent may also be on hand to attend the festival.
While Thailand has an impressive film history and continues to be a significant film producer, the country has struggled to consistently host a major film festival. The Bangkok International Film Festival, backed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, was held in the first decade of the new century, but dissolved following a bribery scandal in 2007 that eventually saw four people given jail sentences, including TAT governor Juthamas Siriwan. Bangkok has also hosted the Thailand International Film Destination Festival, a now discontinued event intended to showcase the country as a location for production.
Article on Variety written by Patrick Frater, 12/07/22.