Bangkok Winners Include "Barbarian Invasions, "In America," "Last Life in the Universe"
by Wendy Mitchell
On Saturday, the 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival announced this year's Golden Kinnaree winners, the event's highest honor. Thirteen films competed in the Kinnaree international competition, with the best film prize going to Denys Arcand's "The Barbarian Invasions," best director was Jim Sheridan for "In America," best actors were Li Yixiang, Wang Shungbao, and Wang Baoqiang for "Blind Shaft," best actress was awarded to Giovanna Mezzogiorno for "Facing Windows." The jury included Michele Maheux from the Toronto International Film Festival Group, director Bruce Beresford, actor and director Noppol Gomarachun, and producer Rafaella De Laurentiis. Oliver Stone received a Golden Kinnaree for career achievement, and cinematographer Christopher Doyle received the Crystal Lens award for achievement in cinematography. The Kinnaree is based on an ancient and revered Thai mythological figure.
In the Asian shorts category, "Broken Blossom" (Japan), directed by Matsuoka Naomi, received best short documentary and "The Anniversary" (Vietnam), directed by Ham Tran, received best live action. Those two directors also received $3,000 scholarships from the New York Film Academy to attend a workshop. "Mekong Interior" (France), directed by Vanessa Ly, received the overall short film award as well as the Jameson short film award and 6,000 Euros. The best animation prize went to "3 Feet Apart" (Singapore) directed by Jason Lai.
The FIPRESCI Award for Best ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) film was given to Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang for "Last Life in the Universe." FIPRESCI jury members who judged films from the 10 countries included FIPRESCI honorary president Derek Malcolm, indieWIRE critic Peter Brunette, L'Unita's Umberto Rosi, Nach Blende's Alexandra Seitz, and Thai film critic Prawit Taeng-Aksorn.
[ For more information on the recently wrapped festival, visit http://www.bangkokfilm.org.]