Lav Diaz, Edwin Among Recipients of Thailand’s Purin Pictures Grants

'When the Waves Are Gone' still - 2019
Courtesy of Purin Pictures

The Thai film fund is aimed at supporting independent Southeast Asian cinema and has allocated cash to three fiction films and two documentaries.

Veteran Philippine filmmaker Lav Diaz and Edwin of Indonesia are among those to receive the latest round of cash from Purin Pictures as the Thai film fund announced its fall 2019 round of grants Friday.

Set up in 2017, Purin Pictures is a nonprofit fund aimed at supporting independent cinema in Southeast Asia.

Diaz, the Venice Golden Lion winner in 2016 with The Woman Who Left, picked up funding for his new project, the revenge thriller When the Waves Ares Gone. Indonesia’s Edwin, nominated for a Golden Bear in Berlin for 2012’s Postcards From the Zoo, was successful with the drama Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash.

“The five countries with the strongest projects in the region continue to be the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam,” Purin Pictures director and filmmaker Aditya Assarat said.

Among the films to have previously received funding are Indonesian director Mouly Surya’s Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, which was submitted for Oscar consideration this year.

The latest round of funding will see production grants directed toward three fiction films and one documentary project while one fiction project will receive a postproduction grant. Purin Pictures also announced that as of next year the fund will be split into fiction and documentary categories.

“Over the past two years, we’ve found that in trying to choose the best projects, it’s difficult to compare the merits of fiction and documentary applications,” explained filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong, also a  Purin Pictures director. “The production needs and postproduction schedules of documentaries tend to be different from fiction projects. By splitting the granting program into two categories and judging them separately, we can better serve the filmmakers.”

The next round of funding from the Purin Pictures scheme is set for spring, with applications opening Feb. 1. Here is a look at which projects are receiving funding.

Production grants ($30,000 for fiction, $15,000 for documentary)

Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (Director: Edwin; Producer: Meiske Taurisia; Production company: Palari Films, Indonesia): A drama following the life of Ajo, a violent young man who is unable to get an erection, and his love for Iteung, a girl with great skill in the martial arts.

When the Waves Are Gone (Director: Lav Diaz; Producer: Bianca Balbuena; Production company: Epicmedia Productions, Philippines): A film noir about a man freed from prison after 30 years who goes on a bloody trail of revenge against his friend to reclaim all that he has lost.

Autobiography (Director: Makbul Mubarak; Producer: Yulia Evina Bhara; Production company: KawanKawan Media, Indonesia): A drama about Rakib, a male housekeeper and his struggle to be free of Purna, the retired army general who is his master and father figure.

Children of the Mist (Director: Diem Ha Le; Producer: Thao Tran Phuong; Production company: Varan Vietnam, Vietnam): A documentary following 13-year-old Di, a girl from the misty mountains of northern Vietnam, as she walks the thin line between childhood and adulthood.

Postproduction grant ($50,000 in post-production services)

Memoryland (Director: Kim Quy Bui; Producer: Nicole Pham; Production company: Cinehanoi, Vietnam): A surreal melodrama told in three intertwining chapters following the lives of several characters as they contemplate life, love and death.