Perfectly timed with International Women’s Day, the weeklong HeForShe Arts Week event takes place in Bangkok from the 8th to 15th of March. The event encompasses a number of initiatives related to arts and culture that will bring gender equality to the forefront of the public sphere, including a 4-day film festival at SF Cinema, Central World. Among the screenings is the drama film Mustang, which depicts the lives of five orphan sisters in Northern Turkey, and Desert Flower, a biographical film of model and activist Waris Dirie. For those who don’t know, HeForShe is a solidarity campaign for gender equality initiated by UN Women. Its goal is to engage men and boys as agents of change. www.facebook.com/unwomenasia.
In other film news, the Bangkok Underground Film Fest—which aims to support DIY and first-time filmmakers—has two showcases taking place this month. The first begins on March 4th (and runs until the 12th) at the Bridge Art Space (Soi Charoenkrung 51), showcasing a line-up of experimental films, and live performances from 7pm onwards. The second gets underway on March 5th at Gallery Ver (Narathiwat Soi 22), and the program includes a series of short films, a screening of Burmese/German film My Buddha is Pink (at 7pm), as well as a performance by the Rebel Riot Band. For more details, visit: www.bangkokundergroundcinema.com
The historic La Scala theatre (Siam Square Soi 1) hosts the Design Film Festival Bangkok on March 4th and 5th, with screenings of eight different design-oriented documentaries. The films include Banksy Does New York, a month in the life of the British graffiti master, and Crazy About Tiffany’s, which examines the jewellery brand’s rise to global prominence. The Saturday screenings begin at 2pm (last show at 7:50pm) while the Sunday screenings begin at 1:30pm (last screening at 7pm). Tickets are B150 each. www.tcdc.or.th/dffbkk2017
A film event that was postponed from 2016 will be restaged this month. White God—Hungary’s entry for the 2014 Oscars—will be shown as part of the long-running ‘Contemporary World Film Series’ on Saturday March 11th at 4pm. The screening will take place at Thailand Knowledge (TK) Park, located on the 8th floor of CentralWorld (999/9 Rama 1 Rd). The film, directed by Kornél Mundruczó, is a strong and inspiring tale of the love between Lili, a 13 year-old girl, and her half-breed “mongrel” dog Hagen (the opening and closing scenes, of hundreds of dogs running across the streets of the city, have stunned film critics and audiences). The screening will be followed by snacks and refreshments provided by the Embassy of Hungary, and tickets are only B20 each. For more information, visit www.tkpark.or.th.
The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (518/5 Ploenchit Rd) has four documentaries showing this month, starting with The Look of Silence on March 6th, a 2014 film in which an optician confronts the men who killed the brother that he never knew during the 1960s Indonesian genocide. On March 13th check out the film Gayby Baby, a 2015 doc about the experiences of kids with same-sex parents, followed on March 20th by They Call it Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain, Robert H. Lieberman’s 2012 revealing doc that was shot clandestinely over a two-year period. Finally, Where To Invade Next—in which acclaimed American filmmaker Michael Moore visits various countries to examine how Europeans view work, education, health care, sex, equality, and other issues—will be shown on March 27th. Screenings start at 7:30pm, and are free for members and B150 for non-members. www.fccthai.com
Finally, the recently revamped Bangkok Screening Room (Soi Sala Daeng 1) has lots on offer this month, including the Ants on a Shrimp, which follows superstar chef René Redzepi and his team from the award-winning restaurant Noma as they set up a five-week pop-up in Tokyo. Other film screenings include the Austrian horror comedy Therapy for a Vampire, the Thai feature film Santi-Vina, and the French comedy Jour de fête (The Big Day).
Meanwhile, a special screening of all 5 films that won the BIOSCOPE AWARDS 2016 for Best Thai Film will take place on Saturday, March 11th. Check out the timetables for screenings at www.bkksr.com.