'Queens' for Day 1 at Bangkok film festival

Thai film screened at Cannes and Venice this year

BANGKOK -- Nonzee Nimibutr's Thai action-fantasy film "Queens of Langkasuka" will open the eighth annual Bangkok International Film Festival on Sept. 23, organizers said Tuesday.

Thai film fans have been waiting a long time for the movie, which was first announced in 2005 and premiered in the market at the Festival de Cannes in May. A shorter version screened last week at the Venice Film Festival.

The Bangkok festival will close Sept. 30 with "Nanayo," from Japanese director Naomi Kawase.

Organizers said this year's festival -- with a $2.3 million budget derived half from the government and half from sponsors including Toyota, Sony and Fujifilm -- will feature 70 films, with 10 international titles screening in its main competition and nine competing in its Southeast Asia film sidebar.

Judges include Singapore director Eric Khoo and Thai film star Ananda Everingham.

Also expected to attend are U.S. director-producer Roger Corman, Hong Kong helmer Andrew Lau ("Infernal Affairs"), U.K. producer Iain Smith ("Children of Men") and American actresses Arielle Kebbel and Leslie Bibb, organizers said.

Held at the SF World Cinema in the Thai capital's CentralWorld shopping complex and at the Aksra Theater at the King Power complex, the festival also will feature industry seminars.