A look at the European Union Film Festival 2003
Festival ends this weekend
Tuesday, the 3rd of June was the day of the official
opening of the fifth European Film Festival in Chiang Mai. This annual event
features entries from each of the European Union member states, plus this
year, in advance of the upcoming enlargement of the European Union (EU), it
featured films from some of the countries set to join the Union in 2004. The
opening night was held at Vista 12 Huay Kaew in Chiang Mai, in cooperation
with the Alliance Francaise and a delegation from the European Commission.
to right) Ivan Skorupa, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Slovak
Republic, Kobkul Ratchakitti, EU representative of Cultural Affairs,
Thavatchai “Tommy” Rojanachotikul, MD Vista Entertainment, and Andreas
List, First Counselor of the Delegation of the European Commission.
left) Chiang Mai Vice Governor Borworn Ratanaprasidhi, Andreas List the
First Counselor and Thavatchai Rojanachotikul MD Vista Entertainment.
Bringing the long and renowned heritage of
Eastern-European filmmaking to the festival were entries from Poland,
Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The deputy chief of mission of the
Embassy of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Skorupa, said that he felt very honored
to be part of the festival, and even with only a handful of people from
Slovakia living in Chiang Mai, he hopes that the interest of the fairytale
‘Lady Winter’, which represents Slovakia, will draw a lot of interest.
It reflects the idea of people’s longing for happiness, love and
understanding, their efforts to overcome troubles and win over death, while
criticizing greed and evil desires. A true reflection of the state of
The positive difference between last year’s film
showing and this year is that it will be an all day event, starting at 12.00
noon and going on throughout the evening. What is unfortunate is that not
every movie will be shown twice, in order for people to have a choice. For
example, the German film, ‘Nirgendwo in Afrika’ (Nowhere in Africa)
fresh from its success in the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category at
the recent Oscar awards, has just one screening. So, if your are busy at
that particular time - better luck next time, if there would be a next time.
left) Ivan Skorupa from the Slovak Republic, David Brown, Lanna
International School, and Thomas Baude, the Honorary Consul of France, in
Another complaint heard several times that night was the
insufficient promotion and information given (or not given) in advance,
especially to people who are not aware that this really remarkable event is
taking place. Telephone information regarding screening times was
non-existent, and even 4 different times for the official opening ceremony
were given, just 1 day before the event. Many of the local consular officers
were also not properly informed in advance, so that they could not advise
their fellow countrymen about this event - a fact which was regrettably
reflected in the very low turnout at many films during the ensuing week.
Hopefully these ‘hick-ups’ can be resolved for the year 2004 and then
even more people will be aware of this great, ‘once a year experience’.
However, the selection which the EU brought this year was
really admirable. No difficult-to-understand ‘art films’, but instead a
mixture of drama, comedy, mystery, romance and fairytale. As Mr. Andreas
List, the first counselor of the EU said in his opening speech, they
selected quality films because cinema is a way to promote cultural
understanding and variety. The festival aims to bring better understanding
of the EU through cultural interaction. He pointed out that it would not
have been possible without the help of Thavatchai “Tommy” Rojanachotikul,
MD Vista Entertainment to bring this festival to Chiang Mai. He also
explained that there are 4 more languages and 4 more stories this year with
the 4 new EU countries in 2004. Asked about his favorite film, Andreas
talked about the hilarious story of the ‘Baby Switch’, ‘Born in
Absurdistan’, a comedy from 1999 about an Austrian couple and a Turkish
immigrant family going home from a Viennese hospital with a wrong baby. By
the time the mistake comes to light, it emerges that the Turkish family -
including baby - has been deported. This movie is one of the few which has 2
showings, the last one today, Saturday, 14th of June, at 1700 hrs.
When Tommy Rojanachotikul invited the vice governor of
Chiang Mai, Borworn Ratanaprasidhi, to the stage, more than one of the film
viewers was surprised by the perfect English and very kind speech he
delivered. Vice Governor Borworn said that as we are, “Living in Chiang
Mai, we see foreigners in the streets every day. They have become part of
our daily routine, and we all should try to be more understanding of life on
continents far away. Watching movies from another country can be a huge help
and maybe we can find out that all of us have more in common than we
think.” Vice Governor Borworn congratulated Tommy and the EU delegation
for the new experience to see films from the East, as he personally was
looking forward to learning more about the countries that will be part of
the EU in 2004.
The Film Festival 2003 will end tomorrow, June 15th, with the closing
movie ‘Show me Love’, a drama from Sweden, at 1700 hours. For
reservations and schedule call Vista 12 Huay Kaew, opposite Kad Suan Kaew
Shopping Mall, tel. 053 404 374.
Bangkok String Orchestra coming to CMU
Free tickets for student culture vultures
Classical music concerts will be held on June 20 and 21
at the Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai University (CMU). Archarn Amnuay
Kanta-In, dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, has indicated the performances
by the Bangkok String Orchestra, conducted by Privy Councilor Rear Admiral
M.L. Assanee Pramoj will commence at 7 p.m. on both evenings at the 8th
floor Convention Room of Faculty of Humanities, CMU.
General admission tickets are 100 or 200 baht available
at the Faculty of Fine Arts for the second concert on June 21. Students have
free admission for the concert on June 20.
The string orchestra will play compositions from many
famous artists including Mendelssohn and Vivaldi. The objectives are to
publicize the appreciation of classical music to Chiang Mai students and
people and the admission ticket sales will be donated to the students’
Further information and ticket sales can be arranged
through the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University, 053 944 840, and 01
IC-ACE to provide admissions counseling and advisory services for applicants to North American colleges and universities
The International Center (IC) of Chiang Mai University (CMU),
a joint venture with ACE International, under the official name of IC-ACE,
will provide admissions counseling and advisory services for applicants in
Northern Thailand to North American colleges and universities.
IC-ACE service, which was developed by ACE International,
is a student service focused on client, cost-effective and results-driven.
IC-ACE will serve a diverse range of applicants seeking admission to
universities in USA and Canada.
The center will serve residents of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai,
Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Phayao, and other northern provinces in
Dr. Busabong Jamroendararasame, director of IC, said,
“We in the IC are pleased to cooperate with the professional team of
managers and counselors in ACE International to provide such timely and
“As IC-ACE serves the needs of applicants from the
greater Chiang Mai region, we believe the international experience and
extensive network of the ACE International team will be effective in raising
the success rate of IC-ACE clients,” she added.
Chairman of the Board of ACE International, Dr.
Damrongsak Bulyalert added that, “ACE is a significant step in our roadmap
for helping to raise the knowledge base in Northern Thailand.”
IC-ACE, is available during business hours from Monday
through Friday, located on the Ground Floor of the IC complex in CMU. A full
range of reference materials is available in the IC-ACE Resources Section,
including information on North American colleges and universities, as well
as standardized tests.
“Got” performs great concert in Chiang Mai
Got, Thailand’s prince of Look Tung songs, performed in
concert in Chiang Mai to present his top-hit new album, Charoen Charoen.
prince of Look Tung songs, performed a great concert in Chiang Mai.
Got, or Chakaphan Arbkornburi, is Nakhon Ratchasima born,
and appeals to audiences from all walks of life, and from all ages. He was
accompanied by Oravee Satjanont, who also performed at the Kad Theatre, in
the Kad Suan Kaew shopping complex. Outstanding performances came from his
dance troupe of more than 80 young girls at each of the three concerts held
in Chiang Mai.
The opening number of “This is Thailand”, using Thai
flags and dazzling traditional costumes worn by dancing girls set the tempo
for the night. The performances were light-hearted fun, with Got chatting to
his audience between numbers.
The crowd applauded loudly when he performed the new
album Charoen Charoen and then Poo Khai Kai Long, the former top hit album
of old Look Tung songs. Further appreciation came with the traditional
garlands being draped around his neck by the fans.
Other popular numbers included the northern folk song,
Pii Sao Krap (my older sister), a well known song from the late folk song
performer Charun Manopetch from Chiang Mai.
Later in the concert he presented his series of Ban Ni
Chan Rak, and Sanya Hua Jai, surrounded by the beautiful dancers in yellow
Got displayed his versatility with not only Look Tung songs but also in
Look Krung style like Thao Nee Kor Trom Nak Na, and before ending his Chiang
Mai show, he performed his top hit album Somwang Na Krap, Tong Mee Sakwan,
with the finale being Rak Toer Koen Rao.
Rehabilitation of minor offenders organized by Royal Thai Air Force
New school represents a new life for prisoners
Wing 41 Wiwat Phonlamuang School launched its first class
on June 5. The school is providing job training courses and activities for
well behaved prisoners. After rehabilitation, they will be released from
both prison and this school with the opportunity of leading a normal life.
receive a discipline course from military officers.
school’s first class to provide opportunities to the students.
The official opening ceremony of Wing 41 Wiwat
Phonlamuang School was held with 120 prisoners as the school’s first
student class. The prisoners came from Mae Hong Son, Nan, Lamphun and Chiang
Mai provincial prisons, and will be taking training courses covering many
subjects as well as agricultural and job training courses.
The voluntary lecturers come from government sectors like
Chiang Mai Non-formal Education Center, Chiang Mai Skills Development
Center, Chiang Mai Employment Service Office, Chiang Mai Livestock Office,
Chiang Mai Livestock Breeding and Research Center, and Chiang Mai Inland
Fisheries Development and Research Center.
atmosphere in the school is totally different from prison.
subjects are added to the course for the prisoners.
students learn the art of woodcarving.
The first class of students started at the new school on
May 6 and will continue until September 23 this year, then return to their
homes to lead normal lives.
One prisoner disclosed that he was very happy to be there
because the atmosphere and conditions are totally different from prison. He
had learned many skills from the new school like wood carving, fishing and
It is hoped that after the prison students leave the school, they would
use the skills they have learned and become good, law-abiding citizens.
Alternative computers to Eua Arthorn selling well
Consumers prepared to pay more for faster specifications say distributors
Chi Chang Co., in cooperation with Belta Computers, sold
more than 500 computers in three days during their release May 23-25, before
attracting another 100 customers May 30-June 1 at Central Airport Plaza.
Chompuchaikert, marketing division manager from Belta (back row 2nd right)
and Sumalee Lukuan, Chi Chang’s marketing manager (back row 2nd left) with
Little Sri Thanonchai.
Sri Thanonchai at Central Airport Plaza promoting the new line of computers.
The new computer models, Sri Thanonchai PC and Tossakan notebook, were
launched to compete with the government’s Eua Arthorn low price computers.
“These models draw interest from people who are still hesitating to buy
Eua Arthorn computers because of the rather low specifications,” said
Pannee Chompuchaikert, marketing division manager of Belta. Ms Pannee said
that both Sri Thanonchai and Tossakan models were Pentium 4 upgradeable and
would be sold with any programs the customers wanted including Linux or
Microsoft. Their target for the next three months was 10,000 Sri Thanonchai
PC’s and 5,000 Tossakan computer notebooks.
Dreams come true at International School’s Prom
Patrick Braendli and Sam Chungyampin
A Saturday isn’t so boring anymore, as many
international school students turned up at the Rydges Hotel on May 24th
looking stunning in their suits and dresses for an evening event. The
American Pacific International School Student Council hosted a semi-formal
prom for all International Schools in Chiang Mai. This event was held in the
Rydges ballroom, and the tickets were sold for 300 baht each.
school students from throughout Chiang Mai make new friends and dance the
night away at the semi-formal prom for all International Schools in Chiang
APIS Student Council had the idea to hold a semi-formal prom for all
International Schools in Chiang Mai, and then made it happen.
The participating schools were Lanna International School
(LIST), Prem Tinsulanonda International School (PREM), Nakorn Payap
International School (NIS), and American Pacific International School
The night started off with a fantastic dinner and drinks,
provided by the hotel. Usually, students from different schools would only
get to meet each other at sports events, but this was a great opportunity
for students to come together and socialize in a setting other than a
basketball court or a football field.
By 7 o’clock, the dance floor was filled with high
school students who danced the night away. There were prizes, movie tickets
and gift vouchers at La Gondola, given away during dance breaks.
It was a spectacular night provided with fun for
students. The International Schools Prom ended at 10 with a whole lot of
success, and many asking if they could just stay a little bit longer!
After the prom, the APIS Student Council was greatly praised for their
hard work putting this amazing event together. Special mention and
congratulations go out to Sam Chungyampin who, without his determination and
hard work, this event would not have been as successful as it was. APIS
Student Council is already planning another function like this, so be sure
to look forward to another one, bigger and better, next year!