The Island Funeral

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Thailand / 105 mins / World premiere – Tokyo International Film Festival , European premiere – International Film Festival Rotterdam

Directed by Pimpaka Towira / Extra Virgin

Awards

Best Asian Future Film Award – Tokyo International Film Festival 2015

Synopsis

Laila sets out on a road trip to Pattani, one of the three southernmost Thai provinces, to visit her long-lost aunt. Her brother and his friend are tagging along. The three take off from Bangkok during a time when the capital is going through radical conflict. Being from the city has prevented them from realizing much about the violent outbreaks that have been occurring around Pattani for many years. Meeting a suspicious soldier sent to fight the insurgents, the four head together to find Laila’s aunt, where the route is leading them to discover a land stranger than that they are familiar with.

Director’s Biography

Pimpaka Towira

Recognised as the first female Thai director to be noticed by international viewers and critics, she is a pioneer on the Thai independent film scene since the early ’90s. Since 1988 she has made a number of experimental short films, mostly depicting women’s issues, including, MAE NAK, a deconstruction of the popular Thai ghost story “Mae NakPhraKanong”. Produced in 1997, MAE NAK, went on to win a Special Jury Prize at the Image Forum Festival in 1998.

Her debut feature, ONE NIGHT HUSBAND, an ambitious attempt to combine an experimental style with an accessible narrative was premiered in the International Forum of New Cinema at the Berlin International Film Festival 2003. Since then, it has been traveling around in festival circuits.

Working as an independent filmmaker since the last decade, she has not been only writing, but also directing and producing all her films. And ONE NIGHT HUSBAND is her success to achieve a collaborative project with a major film studio GMM Pictures. In 2007, she has found “Extra Virgin”, where it aims to puts a focus on nurturing and giving voices to talents, both emerging and veteran alike.

Apart from film-making, she has worked as a producer, a film writer, a film artist and a film lecturer. In 2006, she was invited as the video artist collaboration with the all-star cast of Thai artists performing Ramakien: A Rock Opera, at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts in New York. And in 2008, she and 4 Thai artists had created “Black Air”, the interactive and sound installation for International Film Festival Rotterdam.

In addition, she was the program director for the Bangkok Film Festival, 2001, 2008 and 2009. Moreover, she was invited as a jury member for many film festivals such as Oberhausen International Short Film Festival in 2001, Yamagata Documentary Film Festival in 2005 and Hong Kong Film Festival in 2010.

Pimpaka won the Silapathorn Award (an honour for Thai contemporary artists), in 2009, presented by the Ministry of Culture in Thailand.

Selected Filmography (Director/Writer):

One Night Husband (35mm, 117 min, 2003)

Terribly Happy (HDCam, 30 min, 2011)

The Mother (DCP. 15 min, 2012)