Stars to shine at Bangkok festival

Salma Hayeck.

Recognising a global forum that continues to grow in stature and the increasing consumption of American motion pictures throughout the Asian continent, the Hollywood entertainment industry is expected to clutter the streets of Bangkok during the upcoming Bangkok International Film Festival. The festival is to be held from January 10-21, and will present its first annual Golden Kinnaree Awards.

The city of Bangkok will serve as the backdrop of an equally energetic festival highlighting the very best in global filmmaking under the theme 'Masters to Present', which will bring motion picture luminaries from across the globe together, while also featuring cultural events, conferences, industry workshops and lectures.

The first annual Golden Kinnaree competition will open on January 17 with the Asian premiere of Frida. The film chronicles the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo who lived a bold and uncompromising life as a political and artistic revolutionary. Directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Julie Taymor (Titus) the film stars Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Antonio Banderas, Ashley Judd, Edward Norton and Geoffrey Rush. The other films that will compete in the Golden Kinnaree Awards include:

A Tale of a Naughty Girl (India) directed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta, starring Tapas Pal and Ramgopal Bajaj; Dirty Deeds (Australia) directed by David Ceasar and starring Bryan Brown, Barry Ryan, Toni Collette and John Goodman; Dolls (Japan) directed by Takeshi Kitano and starring Miho Kanno and Hidetoshi Nishijima; Fureur (France) directed by Karim Dridi and starring Samuel Le Bihan, Yu Nan and Samart Payakarun, Yann Tregout; Small Voices (Philippines) directed by Gil M Portes, starring Dexter Dorta, Alessandra de Rossi, Gina Alajar and Amy Austria; The Quiet American (USA) directed by Phillip Noyce, starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser; Suplement (Poland) directed by Krzysztof Zanussi, starring Pawel Okraska and Monika Krzywkonska; The Man Without a Past (Finland) directed by Aki Kaurismaki, starring Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Juhani Niemela and Annikki Tahti; Kedma (Israel) directed by Amos Gitari, starring Andrei Kashkar, Helena Yaralova and Yusuf Abu-Warda; Talk to Her (Spain) directed by Pedro Almodovar, starring Rosario Flores, Javier Camara, Dario Grandinetti and Leonor Watling; and Evelyn (USA) directed by Bruce Beresford, starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianna Margulies.

"The goal of this festival is to present the cinematic landscape of major world films to Asia, and this year's line-up is a clear indication that we will showcase some of the finest the world has to offer," said Patrick de Bokay, worldwide executive director of the festival.

"We anticipate that the Golden Kinnaree Competition will become to Asia the equivalent of Cannes' Palme d'Or in Europe."