December 5, 2022
BANGKOK – The five-year wait for the 15th World Film Festival of Bangkok ended last night with a lively ceremony followed by a screening of “Stone Turtle”, the latest film by Malaysian New Wave director Ming Jin Woo.
More than 60 films from 51 countries will vie for attention and acclaim during the 10-day celebration of global cinema in Bangkok.
The revival of the festival after a five-year hiatus was a cooperative effort led by Nation Group in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Thai Media Fund, SF Corporation, and Thai Airways International.
Nation Group CEO Shine Bunnag said the festival would project Thailand’s soft power, which would help develop the country’s economy.
Moreover, he said sponsorship of the festival showed that The Nation goes “beyond journalism” by providing more than news.
Festival director Donsaron Kovitvanitcha said he was glad to see everyone return for the festival after five years.
He thanked Nation Group for its role in reviving the festival and said it was drawing global interest. Donsaron also hoped the festival would help put Thai filmmakers in the international spotlight.
Deputy Bangkok Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon said the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) was eager to support the festival because it shows the world that Thailand has reopened.
Sanon also spoke about the economic benefits of the festival and cinema in general. The festival attracts visitors to Thailand and films encourage people to spend, which helps develop the creative economy, Sanon explained.
He noted that the BMA had appointed a committee to develop the creative economy and its first decision was to launch an open-air movie festival in Bangkok.
The BMA is also encouraging directors to make more films in Bangkok to raise the city’s onscreen profile, Sanon said.
Minister of Culture Itthiphol Kunplome said his ministry would continue to support the festival as part of its effort to raise the profile of the Thai film industry globally.
Politicians from competing parties united to praise the festival.
Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat said he was pleased that the festival had returned as the country reopens and the film industry becomes active again.
Pita noted that freedom of expression is necessary for the creativity required for innovation. If freedom of expression is blocked, it will prevent the economy from developing, he added.
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the rising star of the Pheu Thai party, also praised the festival’s return.
She said it was impressive that the festival included small films and that ticket prices were inexpensive. She also said the festival was an opportunity to expand Thailand’s soft power.
Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew thanked Nation Group, the Ministry of Culture, filmmakers and producers for working together to revive the festival.
He said his party focused on increasing Thailand’s soft power to create more opportunities and generate more revenue.
The 15th World Film Festival of Bangkok runs until December 11 at SF World Cinema, Central World.
For more information visit its website: https://www.sfcinemacity.com/movies/film-festival.