Thailand Drives ASEAN Films to the International Stage and Pushes for Stronger Creative Industry with BANGKOK ASEAN FILM FESTIVAL 2021, from December 8 to 13 in Bangkok Cinemas
December 2 – Bangkok: Thailand’s Culture Minister Itthiphol Khunpluem hosts a press conference announcing BANGKOK ASEAN FILM FESTIVAL 2021. He is joined by deputy permanent secretary Prasop Riang-ngern, the festival’s programming director Pimpaka Towira, and Purin Pictures’ Aditya Assarat.
Mr. Itthiphol states that the Culture Ministry is pushing for regional cooperation in promoting the film industry of Southeast Asia and expanding market opportunities to the international level, as well as casting Thailand as a hub in film, video and content production according to the Film Promotion Strategic Plan Phase 3. The Ministry has collaborated with the Motion Pictures and Contents Association of Thailand, along with other private and public agencies, to host the 7th BANGKOK ASEAN FILM FESTIVAL from December 8 to 13, an onsite event at two Bangkok cinemas. The opening ceremony will be on December 8 at SF CentralWorld. The Awards and Closing Ceremony will take place on December 13 at Paragon Cineplex, Siam Paragon.
Mr. Itthiphol adds that: “The BANGKOK ASEAN FILM FESTIVAL has grown in size and stature in the past several years, and has increasingly been recognised as one of the major events in the international film festival circuit. This year, the festival expands the scope of programming and activity to attract the public as well as film professionals who seek out fascinating international titles that have made headlines over the past year.”
The BANGKOK ASEAN FILM FESTIVAL 2021 consist of the following sections:
All films are screened free of charge, and with Thai and English subtitles.
- ASEAN SHOWCASE, featuring 12 outstanding and award-winning titles from Southeast Asian countries plus from 4 Asian partners, namely China, India, South Korea and Japan.
- ASEAN SHORT FILM COMPETITION, featuring 14 short films selected from over 200 submissions. The jury will decide the winners of BEST ASEAN SHORT FILM (with $2,000 cash prize), JURY PRIZE (with $1,000 cash prize) and SPECIAL MENTION (with $500 cash prize).
- BAFF SHORT FILM SHOWCASE + Asia Content Business Summit (ACBS) (PROJECT 19), featuring 3 outstanding short films selected from the international festival circuit and 3 from ACBS partners.
- ASEAN CLASSIC, featuring 3 heritage titles from Myanmar, Thailand and South Korea, curated by the Thai Film Archive.
Besides, there are other sidebar events that aim to strengthen Thailand’s role in the regional film community. SOUTHEAST ASIA PROJECT PITCH, or SEA PITCH, selects 8 film projects from over 50 regional submissions, and the finalist participants join an online workshop on scriptwriting and producing with a panel of international experts. The participants will present their projects to the jury and have a chance of winning SEA PITCH AWARD (with $5000 cash prize), or RUNNER-UP PRIZE (with $3,000 cash prize), or SPECIAL MENTION (with $2,000 cash prize).
Two international seminars will take place during the festival: First, a seminar titled “IS ASEAN CONTENT READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD?, and second, the Asia Content Business Summit 2021 held under the theme “GOING VIRTUAL”.Purin Pictures, one of the longstanding partners of the festival, will also host Short Film Camp 2021 to support young filmmakers looking for a break.
Culture Minister Itthiphol adds: “The ministry has hosted the BAFF for 7 years. The festival is integral to the government policy of pushing “Soft Power” that retains a unique Thai identity while also promoting the creative industry. With the onsite festival held under strict COVID-19 preventive measures, the ministry also wants to spread joy to Thai film-goers and general public after a long period of lockdown. Thailand has opened up the country to the world and since cinemas have resumed operation, the festival will bring happiness to the people once again.”