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EuropaCorp to distribute Citizen Dog, co-produce Wisits next project

  Anchalee Chaiworaporn                 23 June 2005
  All Rights Reserved
   
 

French distributor EuroCorp, owned by the world-famous director Luc Besson, has agreed to sell Citizen Dog, and has greenlit co-production in the director Wisit Sasanatiengs next long-shelved project Namprix.

The company has secured the right to distribute this romantic comedy in Europe and North America, excluding only the Asian region. The deal was concluded in Cannes last month. Citizen Dog becomes the fifth Thai film that have been picked up by this French seller, which so far has distributed in France Wisits debut Tears of the Black Tiger, Pang Brothers' Bangkok Dangerous, Thanit Jitnukul's Bangrajan and worldwide releases except Asia for Ong Bak: The Muay

Thai Warrior. But recently the company lost its rights of the sequel Tom Yam Goong, which has now wrapped up a string of sales, rather than worldwide rights held by one company

EuropaCorp representative Francois Da Silva gave his reasons in picking up the film, Citizen Dog is the best Thai movie that I have seen last year. We followed the film since the shooting. He added, Also the film has no worldwide distributor yet.

According to Da Silva, EuropaCorp planned to introduce the film first to festivals. Citizen Dog is an arthouse movie, not a blockbuster. We will handle with the film festivals in Europe and North America first, while Five Star Productions will take up the Asian region.

Meanwhile, EuropaCorp will also co-produce Wisits next project Namprix. The director Wisit said: "This project began seven years ago as a one-page brief. It had been shelved due to financial difficulties since it needed a huge budget for the production.

In 2002, the project Namprix (Hot Chilli Sauce - former project title) was developed into a pilot treatment, and selected to participate in 5 th Pusan Promotion Plan. Namprix was one of the two selected Thai projects, aside Apichatphong Weerasethakuls Ecstasy Garden .

Namprix will combine an ancient folklore thats full of fun and magic with a famous Thai dish that shows art and culture. Asked to compare the styles between this new film and earlier, director Wisit concluded: They all still focus on the visuals. Tears of the Black Tiger portrays those in an old Thai film style, Citizen Dog is the visuals corresponding to modern Thai. Namprix will go back far than that."

It will be an antique Thai legend, with very traditional Thai picture like the old wall painting. But we will animate them, noted the director. We will make them move. It is not an epic, but a folklore in order to tell our roots, our culture.
 
Wisit Sasanatieng

The director said the film will convey the Thai root in the aspect of arts, when asked to in which aspects the film belongs to between culture, arts, and society.

Namprix is also EuroCorps first co-production film in Asia . Before that, the company co-produced two English-speaking movies and another one with Brazil .

Da Silva added: Luc Besson has seen the project outline and wanted very much to co-produce it. According to him, the company will be in 50:50 deals, with Five Star Production. But the budget scale has not been summarized yet. "We hope for the script will be finished in the next six months."

EuropaCorp representative explained on the companys involvement with the Thai project: At the beginning, we are only a financing partner. But if the script is done, we might have more roles, depending on Luc Besson and his assistant.

However, despite gaining international success than home, director Wisit still insisted in local target as his primary objective. The other is only a bonus, he concluded.

 

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