Hollywood is coming to Bangkok for international film festival

Category: Phantom of the Opera News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: December 17, 2004 | Publication: Asia News | Author: Editors
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Cannes, Sundance, Toronto ... and Bangkok? With its glitzy cast of directors and stars, next month's international film festival will bring Tinseltown to this Southeast Asian metropolis.

Jeremy Irons, Sigourney Weaver, Oliver Stone and Andrew Lloyd Webber are among a host of big names who will descend on Bangkok for its eighth International Film Festival, Jan. 13-24, its organizers said Friday.

About 180 films from nearly 50 countries _ chosen from almost 4,000 films _ will be screened during the 12-day event.

"I'm convinced this is a breakthrough year for Bangkok," Craig Prater, executive director of the festival, told reporters.

The festival will host seven world premieres and several regional firsts, including the Southeast Asian premiere of "The Phantom of the Opera," for which director Joel Schumacher and actor Gerard Butler, who plays the phantom, will be present.

Schumacher, who has directed more than 20 movies, including the 1980s classics "St. Elmo's Fire" and "The Lost Boys," will receive a career achievement award due to be presented by actor Michael Douglas.

Irons will attend the screening of his film "Being Julia" based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham and set in 1930s London.

Weaver, star of the "Alien" movie trilogy, will be here to promote her new film, "Imaginary Heroes."

Mexican cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, who has worked on some 30 films including "Alexander," "21 Grams," "Frida" and "Amores Perros," will receive the Crystal Lens award, and Oliver Stone, who directed "Alexander," will be here to support the presentation of that award, Prater said.

The festival will kick-off with a screening of Tom Hooper's "Red Dust," starring Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank as a prosecutor. The movie explores the effects of South Africa's post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated atrocities and granted amnesty to those who fully confessed their crimes.

Artist David Hockney will be present for the screening of "David Hockney: The Colors of Music," a documentary about his production design work for operas.