Phuket Film Fest under threat?


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I wrote this morning that the Asean summit is due to be held in Phuket on June 13 and 14. What I had forgotten is that the Phuket Film Fest is slated for June 4 to 11.

What with the possibility of the army pretty much running the security show during the Asean summit in Phuket, there's a wave of panic on the island that the streets are going to be lined with troops, which would obviously not be a good look for an international film festival.

I received an email from I don't know who about the festival. From the email:

5,000+ troops are being brought on to the island and road blocks, soldiers and tanks will be on display. Film makers view the world in terms of images and even though the actual meeting takes place after the film festival, troops will be deployed days before the actual ASEAN Event.

Gus Van Sant is supposed to be attending this year. I recently watched Elephant and thought it was an interesting movie. [SPOILERS] I was a little confused by the motives of the shooters, . The homosexual relationship was also out of the blue and the fact that the main kid shot his lover at the end bemused me. [/SPOLIERS]

Anyway, the people behind the Phuket Film Fest are apparently lacking in support from the likes of TAT.

Please email and get your friends, neighbors and work mates to email the following at TAT and tell them to pay more attention to Phuket. And if you have a fax machine – fax Khun Weerasak 02-250-0628.

sethaphan.buddhani at tat.or.th,

prdiv3 at tat.or.th,

juthaporn.rerngronasa at tat.or.th,

tatphket at tat.or.th,

prdiv1 at tat.or.th

kaneungnit.cho at tat.or.th,

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3 thoughts on “Phuket Film Fest under threat?

  1. Hi,

    Festival organizers are very concerned that Festival guests will not attend when they learn of the large deployment of troops on the island.

    Academy Award winning actor Adrien Brody who is supposed to attend the Festival already "freaked out" when he learned about the fracas in Bangkok over Songkran. While he has 100% committed to come, I am sure if he sees any of the recent pictures of security forces working out on the island he will cancel.

    Organizers are also concerned as police apparently are already going around to guest houses and hotels telling them NOT to book folks from the North of Thailand. (red shirts??) We WANT people to attend the Phuket Fest from Bangkok – we spent a lot of time and effort putting our slate of films together. But alas, if they are going to be filtered through police surveillance, they will not come.

    PLUS, the TAT backed World Comedy Film Festival will take place in Bangkok and overlap the Phuket Film Fest by a couple of days. While we understand the political reasons the Comedy Fest is being held, we don't know why TAT is hanging the Phuket Fest "out to dry" with little fiscal support and certainly no coordination with the Foreign Ministry on tourism impact from the ASEAN meeting.

    Please do write TAT and chairman of the TAT Board Khun Weerasak and ask them why they did not intervine and allow this international film and cultural event to take place without negative images of soldiers or threat of violence.

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