"Talk to Her" Takes Top Prizes at Bangkok International Film Festival
by Brian Brooks
Over 100 films screened at the Bangkok International Film Festival, which ended early last week with Pedro Almodovar's "Talk to Her" (Hable con Ella) taking top event honors. "Talk to Her" received the festival's Golden Kinnaree prize for Best Film and the Spanish director also received the award for Best Director.
Also honored was Michael Caine who received the Best Actor nod for his roll in Phillip Noyce's "The Quiet American." Finnish director/writer Aki Kaurismaki took the Best Screenplay Award for "The Man Without a Past," which also garnered a Best Actress prize for Kati Outinen. The Golden Kinnaree Award, designed by renowned Thai artist Preecha Thaothong, is based on a revered Thai mythological figure.
"It has been an honor for the city of Bangkok to play host to this group of prestigious films and our special guests and to witness the enthusiastic reception that our city gave their work," commented Mrs. Juthamas Siriwan, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in a festival release. "This award represents our tremendous respect and gratitude to these extraordinary achievements in international cinema."
BIFF also played host to French director Agnes Varda ("The Gleaners and I"), who received the Golden Kinnaree Lifetime Achievement Award during an opening night ceremony on January 17th. H.R.H. Princess Chulabhorn also attended a gala dinner the following night with Oscar-winning composer Maurice Jarre ("Lawrence of Arabia"), who conducted the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. The 2003 Bangkok International Film Festival closed January 21st.