Film festival deferred
The Bangkok International Film Festival 2007 (BKKIFF) that had been scheduled for late next month has been postponed until July, according to its organiser, the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The event was to have taken place from January 26 to February 5.
The TAT blamed lack of venue availability as a major factor for the abrupt postponement. Chattan Kunjara na Ayudhya said in a statement the delay would be in the best interest of the festival.
TAT said the theatre operator had taken financial factors into consideration, as it was understood that during the original schedule, theatres would be fully occupied with potential blockbusters.
"This unexpected decision has compelled the TAT to significantly alter its preparations, which had been progressing until the sudden position change by a theatre operator," the statement said.
The TAT did not reveal the identity of the theatre operator it had dealt with. Last year, the BKKIFF opened with fanfare at the then newly opened Siam Paragon shopping centre. About 170 feature films were screened at Paragon Cineplex, which has 16 screens operated by Major Cineplex.
The BKKIFF faced a crisis after the departure of executive director Craig Prater last April. In another development, the contract with US consulting firm Film Festival Management (FFM) was ended last month as a result of the TAT's considerable budget cuts, and festival director Gray Hartnall left the organising team.
The tourism body hopes the new schedule will enable a smooth transition to another venue, also expected to be in the heart of the city. It will also allow time for a new organising team - including Thai experts in the film industry - to complete its arrangements.
The new festival dates and venue, plus the appointment of a new festival director, will be announced in early January.