Film Festival Downsizing: A Tale of Two Southeast Asian Cities | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710



In 2008, two relatively new and internationally visible Southeast Asian film festivals - the Bangkok International Film Festival and the Jakarta International Film Festival - faced the prospect of cancellation; each went ahead only on short notice and in downsized form, though in each case for rather different reasons. The Bangkok festival, held Sept. 23-30, was in fact experiencing downsizing for the second year in a row. Started in its present form in 2003 by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the festival had long been criticized for an emphasis on opulent gala events for VIPs to the detriment of the interests of local filmgoers and, indeed, the filmmakers themselves. One of the clearest pieces of evidence for this was a lack of Thai subtitles for screenings of international films, something roundly criticized by the press for a number of years.


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