Doi Saket International

Film Festival 2010

“I’ve never thought that people will stop making films, but I’ve come to believe that the good films that have been misplaced just haven’t found a place for themselves yet”

 

Presently, a large number of film students are graduating each year, yet only a small percentage of these graduates are attempting to get their products out into the film industry. Where have all the others gone?

 

A large number of films get made, a portion of which get screened at the cinema for a short period of time before completely disappearing and never being brought up again. Where have all those films gone?

 

A large number of the world’s population have never had the opportunity to enter a cinema, let alone watch a movie on a screen any larger than the television within their households. How many millions of other youths don’t even have the opportunity to watch a movie on a television screen within their household, due to various economic factors?

 

A film or a motion picture, as it is being displayed on a screen, contains an immeasurable power to communicate and educate - not only in terms of art and culture, but as a mechanism in relaying a way of life. If the planet’s filmmakers produced a total of a million films a year, how many films do you think you would have the opportunity to watch? How many of these films do you think would be shown at a cinema? It is almost an unspoken fact that the quality of a film - whether it is for entertainment or arts and culture - is not measured by the chances that it is publicly shown at a cinema. In other words, films that make it into a theater are not necessarily “quality” films. There exists an innumerable amount of films that are never spoken of, because no one has ever watched them, and because those films never received the opportunity to be shown anywhere, those films were created - with much time and dedication - only to disappear indefinitely.

Movie theaters are often used as a location for showing films, without ever addressing the underlying problem that is: only a select group of people, that is, a group of people with an income, have the opportunity to watch a film at a movie theater.

 

Doi Saket International Film Festival is a model for an opportunity in which films and artists can directly communicate with local members of the community, without the typical restrictions at play within a traditional theater screening; directly effective in regards to providing community members with an opportunity to enter and watch films, and as a means of direct communication between artists and the community.

 

In regards to Thailand, a number of people have mentioned that independent films and independent film screening might not be suitable for Thai people, when the fact of the matter is that a large portion of the Thai population don’t have enough money to travel to a movie theater to watch a film. Here is a gap in communication.

 

Movie watching was once a social activity, whereby it was a shared experience between members of the society, or community members. Nowadays, movie watching might be more suitably compared to the consumption of wine; only a few of those who favor wine will know the taste of Lao Tong (local Thai alcohol, stored in large containers and distributed in small shot-sized glasses), and it is highly unlikely that native Lao Tong drinkers have ever had the opportunity to taste wine; thus, movie watching becomes an individual activity and a private matter. As the number of films being produced continues to expand, increasing the opportunity for the audience to choose films of their preference, it is also reducing the opportunity to communicate with members of society. Finally, in some cases, it seems that films have become an indicator of a division in society, which is an extremely sorrowful phenomenon, if the primary reason for it all is the “desire to communicate”.


 

Patavee Viranuvat

Festival Director

Doi Saket International Film Festival

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