1998 16 mm, 9 min
Grandpa and Grandson
1998 16 mm, 10 min
1998 Betacam 16 min
1998 Betacam 17 min
by Pimpaka Towira
Despite there being no shortage of talent, independent filmmaking in Thailand languished for a decade, lacking a support structure that could provide young moviemakers with even the barest of necessities such as adequate funds and venues to screen their works.
As a result, mainstream movies were to influence both the perception of filmmaking and moviegoers for decades.
However, during the last couple of years, the independent film scene, especially for making short films, has been showing signs of new life. There are currently plenty of venues for showing short films as well as a number of multiplex theatres, the highlight being the annual Thai Short Film Competition which began in 1998, organized by Thai Film Foundation which began in 1998.
Despite the increasing numbers of short films being produced, the mainstream industry has not yet given it any serious credence and there remains little awareness among the public towards this genre. In essence, there's along way to go yet.
Nevertheless, the four short films provide a good example of how far this form of filmmaking has come both in terms of creativity and in exploring Thai life from a Thai perspective
Like any huge city, Bangkok has its share of good and bad. In 'Bangkok-2541', the grim side of city life is reflected in the passengers who take the same taxicab at different times. Ironically, the confined space provides a wide canvas of experience.
Meanwhile, 'Grandpa and Grandson' tells of the harsh choice between travelling to Bangkok to find work or spending the train fare on food.
'The Cutter' explores the celluloid world and the ambiguous meaning of the word 'cut' - in both the action and the production of a film, while 'Thirdworld' is intended as a parody of the word used by the West to describe Thailand as an 'exotic' landscape.
Pimpaka Towira is an independent filmmaker, whose short film 'Mae Nak' won a Special Jury Prize from the Image Forum Festival in 1998. She is also a journalist covering Thailand's film scene for 'The Nation' newspaper, in addition to being a lecturer at Rangsit University.