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Water to compete for Bangkok awards

Deepa Mehta?s film will represent India at the fest, reports Saibal Chatterjee.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 18:11 IST

Deepa Mehta’s Canadian production, Water, has been chosen to represent India in the International Competition section of the eleven-day Bangkok International Film Festival 2006, scheduled to get underway in the Thai capital on February 17.

The film, featuring John Abraham, Lisa Ray and Seema Biswas, will be in the running for the festival’s Golden Kinnaree awards along with 11 other entries from different parts of the world, including the Thai feature Invisible Waves, directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.

The films in international competition will be judged by a jury headed by Australian director Fred Schepisi of Roxanne and Six Degrees of Separation fame. The jury includes British actor-director Charles Dance, French star Julie Delpy and Hong Kong-born actor Nancy Kwan.

Water will be up against competition from films like Vincent Ward’s River Queen (New Zealand), Diane Bertrand’s Ringfinger (France), Stephen Frears’ Mrs Henderson Presents (United Kingdom), Duncan Tucker’s Transamerica (USA) and Gavin Hood’s Tsotsi (South Africa). The last three are on the list of this year’s Oscar nominees.

Among other Oscar frontrunners that will be screened at the Bangkok International Film Festival are George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck and Hany Abu-Assad’s Paradise Now, the Palestinian film that is tipped to leave Tsotsi behind in the race for the best foreign-language film Oscar.

Deepa Mehta’s Canadian production, Water, has been chosen to represent India in the International Competition section of the eleven-day Bangkok International Film Festival 2006, scheduled to get underway in the Thai capital on February 17.

The Indian contingent at the festival is expected to be rather strong with films of varied hues finding slots in the final slate. The Amitabh Bachchan starrer,

Ek Ajnabee,

which was shot entirely in Bangkok and released late year, will be among the Mumbai films that will be screened at the Tourism Authority of Thailand-promoted event, now in its fourth year.

The screening will be in recognition of Bollywood’s growing engagement with Bangkok and other locations in Thailand. Producer Jaspreet Singh Walia and actor Arjun Rampal are expected to accompany the film.

One of the more unusual films from India headed for Bangkok is the Tibetan-language Dreaming Lhasa, directed by the New Delhi-based wife and husband team of Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam. The film will play in the festival’s New Voices section, which also includes Pradeep Sarkar’s box office hit, Parineeta, Jahar Kanungo’s offbeat Bengali-language film, Nisshabd – Reaching Silence and Kanika Verma’s Dansh.

Rahul Dholakia’s searing tale of a Parsi family caught in the vortex of the Gujarat communal riots of 2002, Parzania, will also travel to Bangkok.

The festival will also host a Special Presentation of Peter Chan’s Perhaps Love, a Hong Kong film on which Bollywood’s Farah Khan served as choreographer.

Another Indian name in the official Bangkok line-up – this time in the ASEAN Competition – is that of Deepak Kumaran Menon, the maker of The Gravel Road, Malaysia’s first Tamil-language film. The Gravel Road will compete against films from Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore.

The Bangkok film festival is, as always, expected to be a star-studded show this year. Confirmed to attend are Vanessa Redgrave, Helen Mirren, Terry Gilliam, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Lee, Tadanobu Asano and Daniel Auteuil. Directors who will be present in person include Bruce Beresford, Roger Donaldson, Chris Columbus, Danis Tanovic and Vincent Ward.

First Published: Feb 07, 2006 20:00 IST