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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

A look at the European Union Film Festival 2003

Bangkok String Orchestra coming to CMU

IC-ACE to provide admissions counseling and advisory services for applicants to North American colleges and universities

“Got” performs great concert in Chiang Mai

Rehabilitation of minor offenders organized by Royal Thai Air Force

Alternative computers to Eua Arthorn selling well

Dreams come true at International School’s Prom

A look at the European Union Film Festival 2003

Festival ends this weekend

Marion Vogt

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.

(Left 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.

(From 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 Slovakia.

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.

(From left) Ivan Skorupa from the Slovak Republic, David Brown, Lanna International School, and Thomas Baude, the Honorary Consul of France, in deep conversation.

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

Nuttanee Thaveephol

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’ activity fund.

Further information and ticket sales can be arranged through the Faculty of Fine Arts, Chiang Mai University, 053 944 840, and 01 297 8608.


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 Thailand.

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 useful service.

“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

Phitsanu Thepthong

Got, Thailand’s prince of Look Tung songs, performed in concert in Chiang Mai to present his top-hit new album, Charoen Charoen.

Got, 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 costumes.

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

Supatatt Dangkrueng

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.

Students receive a discipline course from military officers.

The 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.

The atmosphere in the school is totally different from prison.

Agricultural subjects are added to the course for the prisoners.

Two 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 chicken farming.

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

Nuttanee Thaveephol

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.

Pannee 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.

Little 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.

International 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 Mai.

The 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 (APIS).

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!