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Short and sweet: Thailand movies given online boost

The success of recent movies like The Protector, Pee Mak Phra Khanong, Tang Wong, and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall Past Lives has created a strong interest in mainstream Thai movies, while the Kingdom is also a go-to set for foreign movies (more than 700 overseas productions shot all or part of their movie in Thailand last year alone).


By Jean-Pierre Mestanza

Friday 2 May 2014, 04:06PM


However, no cinema scene is complete without its minor leagues. For filmmakers, short movies have always been a haven for experimentation and artistic freedom – a place where they can just be creative.

Now some of Thailand's top short film directors finally have a place to truly showcase their talents with a new channel on the online film platform, Viddsee.com.

The Singapore-based website has partnered with several film festivals and movie curators from across Asia to make it easier for audiences to access high-quality and award-winning short films.

The website's Thailand channel was launched in March and is curated by the Thai Film Foundation, the same people who organise the Thai Short Film and Video Festival, to highlight the best content that can be viewed in 30 minutes or less.

“We wanted to really help showcase not just films from Singapore or Malaysia, but also films from around Asia,” says Derek Tan, co-founder of Viddsee.com.

“The channel is a way for us to work with film festivals and curators who have their own collection. It brings a representation of your own country's short films onto our platform.”

Central Phuket

While the Thailand channel currently hosts only 25 works, including the highly-regarded short Colorblind, this is only the beginning.

The Thai Short Film and Video Festival is currently accepting entries for their event this August with plans in place to showcase several films on the website immediately after the festival.

“Viddsee has created a trusted platform in the filmmaking community over the past year, and we are excited to showcase Thai content along other quality short films from the region. We hope these films will travel to new online audience across the region on their platform,” said the festival's director, Chalida Uabumrungjit, in a statement.

Currently, there is one big omission from the site: the 2006 short film Graceland, by Anocha Suwichakornpong. The movie, which tells the story of an Elvis impersonator, was the first Thai short selected for screening at the Cannes Film Festival.

Despite this, Viddsee wants to eventually go beyond hosting short films and eventually organise screenings in Thai communities that have no cinemas and little internet access.

“In Jakarta and Laos, we were able to screen our films to small communities,” Tan said. “Not a lot of work is done in audience development for local films, local content. That’s what we're trying to drive towards – get people to watch these stories and be engaged and hopefully have conversations with their friends about local issues, products, beliefs, and everything in-between.”

 

 

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