18.01.2020 Film Screening and discussion - Railway Sleepers: Stories and Spatial Trajectories
Together with colleagues at RILCA who are interested in the subject of colonial/postcolonial in Thailand and Southeast Asia, we have formed a research cluster with the support of our institute called 'Aesthetics and Cultural Sociology Research Cluster'. Our first event in 2020 is a film screening and talk focusing on aesthetics of everyday life and landscape through the train. We draw on Michel De Certeau's reading as a theread to discuss a wonderful Thai documentary called Railway Sleeprs (2016). Described as 'A contemplative study of Thailand's rail system', the movie takes us through the history of Thai railway from the colonail period on to today's life on the train and how we remember histories. The total of 20 guests attended the talk including filmmakers, students and academics from various universites in Bangkok.
27.12.19 Film Location Business Interview: Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin (formerly the Railway Hotel)
Photos from 1936 to 1983 and 2019 The Railway Hotel was buit and run by the state railway in the colonial era (now leased to the Centara Group). As the train line connecting Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore was completed, the seaside holiday town attracting elite tourists was formed starting with the beachfront hotel designed by an Italian architect and a road straight to the station. Quite a few bygone memorabilia are now displayed at the Museum Tea room, which is the site of the original hotel lobby also acted as Hotel le Phnom in the Killing Fields (1984).
26.12.19 Film Location Business Interview: Rabieng Rimnam, Petchaburi
On 26 Dec 2019, the PI visited Rabieng Rimnam restaurant in Petchaburi province. The site has been an important place for fans of First Love/Sing lek lek thi riak wa... rak (2010). Since the film was released the venue has attracted a series of tourists. The first waves were visitors from Bangkok and Chiang Mai. In the last 6 years, there have been continuous visitors/fans from mainland China, Taiwan, the Phillipines and Indonesia. The pan Asian visitors help boost the income for the family run restaurant which faced the downturn of Western tourists to the town.
With the Thailand Research Fund part of the project, the PI continues to explore and analyse user-generated content on film fan tourism in relation to sites in Thailand, along with interviewing business owners whose locations were featured in the films. So far we have covered the interviews in the North (Chiang Mai) and the East (Chanthaburi) of Thailand. Most recently we have visited sites in the South (Phuket), Bangkok and the West (Ratchaburi) with the list below...
17.08.19 Thai Film Archive special programming and talk: 'Exotic Thailand?'
Following a series of talks/seminars at Mahidol University in June and August, the film fan tourism project joined the Thai Film Archive for the special film programme 'Exotic Thailand?' and a roundtable discussion on films shot in Thailand, following the screening of Soi Cowboy (2008) - award-winning Thai film directed by British director Thomas Clay and produced by Tom Waller, De Warrenne Pictures Ltd. who also joined the discussion. Chairing the session is Kong Rithdee, renowned Thai film critic and deputy director of the Thai Film Archive...
03.08.19 Bangkok workshop/training sessions on reading and representing landscapes
On Aug 2nd and 3rd 2019, the Newton Fund project in collaboration with Rilca's research cluster on aesthetics and sociology of culture and Thailand Research Fund organized two training sessions, which were also opened to students, staff and the public audience who are interested in the subject of reading and representing landscapes. The talks connect film fan tourism with discussions on the different ways landscapes have been represented, ranging from cinema and the idea of modernity and romantic city to volatile townscapes connected to colonial and nationalism...
With the support of the funding, the Thai PI was able to explore possible future work with various archives. The visit to the UK not only gave the opportunity to work with the CI on the academic paper, attended a conference focusing on film location and visited several film sites but also to visit several archives and gained on-site training on working with archival materials.
20.07.19 London: Gateway to Cinema and Media Studies
The SCMS or the Society for Cinema and Media Studies is known for being one of the biggest conferences for scholars in film and media studies. In July 2019, the society ran its theme-specific conference outside the US for the first time focusing on cinema and city with the emphasis on London and the UK. It was a perfect occasion to explore works being done on film location and related areas. One of the highlights of the conference was the walking tour of early film screenings and distribution sites, led by Ian Christie (Birkbeck, University of London)...
We wrapped up a busy month of June with a trip to attend and present papers at the Asian Cinema Society Conference at La Salle University, Singapore. The idea of the panel is to gather academics who are working on the subject of film location and fan activities in Southeast Asia together to share ideas and also generate interests and build connections withothers working on related subjects. Several academics we spoke to are working on related areas and we are looking forward to follow their works. Apart from the conference, we also manage to visit the Newton Food Centre used for the film Crazy Rich Asian (2018) as part of our group dinner!
19.06.19 Cambodia Film and Fan Trails in Siem Reap
On 19th-22nd June 2019, the project team visited Siem Reap in Cambodia to explore the film trails and fan engagement from the actual site. Places we visited include the location used for the shooting of Tomb Raider (2001) and In the Mood for Love (2000) which are part of the UNESCO Angkor Wat heritage site. En-route to Singapore, our next stop to present a panel on film fan tourism in Southeast Asia, we also found a travel magazine fearing the story of film location to promote tourism. The layers of texts, agencies, historical and popular memories are something which we are exploring in the our upcoming co-written journal paper!
15.05.19 Project Presentation and Industry Talk: Film Locations through Multiple Lenses
Bringing academics and industry people together, Rilca hosted a vibrant talk and roundtable session to discuss the subject of film location in Southeast Asia and fan tourism. The event begins with the introduction to the British Academy and OHEC funded project and two talks by the project's PI and CI. These are:
Southeast Asian film trail(s), colonial history and nostalgia by Professor Kate Taylor-Jones, School of East Asian Studies, Sheffield University
Fan tourism: Digital platforms, affective space and cinephile pilgrimage stories by Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong, Rilca Mahidol University
The two talks are followed by the sharing session on film locations in Thailand and Southeast Asia by Thai film crew. We were joined by Samavee Pummoung and Kittipat Boonvanno (with experience working with Indochina Productions, Ta Productions and Netflix)
Summer 2019 has been a busy time for us, engaging with many collaborators and exploring diverse dimensions of film fan tourism in Southeast Asia. We kicked off June with Prof. Kate Taylor-Jones's second visit to Rilca at the beginning of the month. During the visit we met with many people working in the film industries particularly film location company and crew, as well as artists, researchers, curators who are exploring the landscape of Southeast Asia in various ways.
As part of a module called Transnational Film Cultures in Asian Contexts at Mahidol University, Rilca welcomes Dr. Graiwoot Chulphongsathorn - a Thai film critic, curator and academic whose research focuses on the landscape of forest in world cinema - for a workshop on textual analysis with MA students.
Giving that the workshop received very positive feedback from those who attended, we discussed a possibility of running a similar kind of workshop focusing on landscape, travel and spaces on films shot in Thailand and Southeast Asia during Dr. Kate Taylor-Jones's visit to Thailand in June 2019.
After attending an outdoor screening of The Overture (2004) organized by the Thai Film Archive as part of the winter festival “Love and Warmth at Winter’s End” on , Dr. Kate Taylor Jones and Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong visited the Thai Film Archive office in Salaya, Thailand. Established in 1984 by Dome Sukwong under the Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Culture, it was reorganized into a public organization in 2009. The Archive organizes...
Prof. Kate Taylor-Jones, Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong and Georgia Thomas-Parr (PhD student from Sheffield University) visited sites connected to the Japanese colonial history in Kanchanaburi, Thailand including the Bridge on the River Kwai and the Hellfire Pass. The aim of this trip is to explore different ways to engage with space, colonial history and film-related sites through photography and video works.
17.01.19 - Film Location Visit: Thailand Creative District
As part of a research exchange trip to Thailand Prof. Kate Taylor-Jones visited sites related to colonial history in Thailand, one of which is now used as a location to exhibit art works as part of the Bangkok Art Biennale, the East Asiatic Building Bangkok.
“Back to 1884, it was the glorious period of the international marine trade. Besides the growth of trade and commerce, countries in Southeast Asia were totally seeking to avoid European’s colonisation. Because of such trading benefit and political reason, King Rama V tactfully decided to develop
Prof. Kate Taylor-Jones, Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong and Georgia Thomas-Parr (PhD student from Sheffield University) joined the opening of the exhibition ‘Beyond the Final Frontier’ at S.A.C. Subhashok The Arts Centre, Bangkok. The event was well-attended by film and art academics, critics and artists amongst other audiences. The multimedia exhibition explores histories and memories related to Thailand socio-political landscapes using the idea of outer space.
“Through sound, scent and vision, this exhibition creates a
The Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University welcomes Professor Kate Taylor-Jones and fan tourism project partners for research exchange activities. During Prof. Taylor-Jones’s visit, she will join a language training course in Thai and Burmese along with engaging in various networking sessions, a public seminar and research exchanges and fieldworks with Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong.
Since the start of the Fan Tourism/Cinephile Pilgrimage project on 2nd May 2018 funded by Thailand Research Fund, the principal investigator, Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong has visited various fan tour locations to interview business owners on their views towards film fan tourism.
Sites visit in November-December 2018 include:
Khao Mai Lanna, Chiang Mai
The River Market, Chiang Mai
Technic Colour Lab, Chantaburi
Explore other locations which have been part of the fan tour phenomenon visit our map section!
We launched the first ever online resource on Fan Tourism & Cinephile Pilgrimage: Thailand and South East Asia at film-locations-thailand.org/. Now expanded with the British Academy's Newton's fund support to filmfantourism.org
We thank our funding sponsors including Thailand Research Fund for making this project possible. We also thank the British Academy and Office of Higher Education Commission (OHEC) Thailand for the sponsorship of the interactive map.
Dr. Wikanda Promkhuntong presents an early observations on the Fan Tourism in Thailand project at the University of Nottingham, Ningbo China as part of “Playful Encounters: Interdisciplinary engagements with play, creativity, entertainment, and fun.”
We are thrilled to share you the news that the Thailand’s Research Fund project on Fan Tourism in Thailand will be expanded to explore the Southeast Asian film trails through a partnership with the University of Sheffield with the funding support of the British Academy’s Newton Mobility Grants.
“Newton Mobility Grants provide support for international researchers based in a country covered by the Newton Fund to establish and develop collaboration with UK researchers around a specific research project. The aim of these one-year awards is to strengthen the research capacity of, and contribute, to promoting economic development and social welfare in the partner country, while supporting excellent research. The awards will also initiate the development of longer-term links between the overseas and UK researchers.”
The Newton fund part of the project will also be incorporated on to this website. Thank you Newton Fund!