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New dates for 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival

Travel News Asia 22 August 2003

The 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival, the official film festival endorsed by the Royal Thai Government, has been scheduled for January 22-February 2, 2004. An estimated 150 films, special events, seminars and panels will be a part of this years event, as well as a competition in 9 different categories and the presentation of the second annual Golden Kinnaree Awards, the festivals award for excellence in International Filmmaking. The festival, organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) with cooperation of the Thai Film Federation, has also appointed Craig Prater and Jennifer Stark, who will serve, respectively, as Executive Director and Director of Programming.

I am thrilled to join the Bangkok International Film Festival, which enters its second year under the guidance of TAT, said Prater. This years festival should be very exciting with the increasing number of entries from around the world as well as a nascent film market which takes advantage of Bangkoks potential to be a central marketplace in Asia.

Prater, no stranger to working on film festivals, most recently served as the Director of the International Festival of Festivals, an annual 17-day event, which hosted 100 international films. He is also the former Executive Director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Stark comes to Bangkok from a similar post at the Palm Springs International Film Festival where she served as the Director of Programming for both the Short Festival, held annually in August, and the Feature Festival which takes place in January. She will head a team of veteran programmers to select the best in international cinema to present at the festival. This programming team is comprised of Alissa Simon, Ian Birnie, Leonardo Garcia Tsao, Dr. David Kaminsky and Therese Hayes.

One of the new highlights of the 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival will be its focus on ASEAN Cinema. This ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) section will feature films from the 10 South East Asian countries which are: Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. This will be a competitive program with a Golden Kinnaree to be awarded for Best ASEAN Film.

Festival President and Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Juthamas Siriwan said, Last years festival was such a success that we are convinced the 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival will attract even more attendees. The organizing committee is a good combination of local Thais and an internationally recognized team from Los Angeles. We have also received tremendous support from the local film industry and community such as the Federation of the Thai Film and the Thai Film Foundation, as well as government and private agencies.

The Thai Film Foundation, a respected non-profit assembly working to promote Thai film studies and classic film preservation, will be assisting with Thai shorts and documentary programs. Two new additions will distinguish the 2004 festival: Cinematographers Day, which will feature top cinematographers from around the world in seminar and panel discussions; and an international Film Market.

The 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival is the official film festival held under the auspices of the Royal Thai Government, and has established itself as the major marketing, media and entertainment platform in Southeast Asia. Located in the heart of Bangkok, the festival showcases films from around the world highlighting the best filmmaking has to offer and also features cultural events, a film market and industry workshops.

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