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Sorapong Chartree: Caught short but happy to make <i>Phuket</i>

Phuket Romances its Way onto Movie Screens

Friday, August 21, 2009
FIRST came Hollywood then Bollywood. So it was inevitable that one day, Phuket would, too.

Make a movie, that is.

And even if the Asean Plus Six national leaders have to settle for Cha-Am and Hua Hin instead of Thailand's most appealing island come October, at least they will get the opportunity to see Phuket, the short film.

A media briefing session was held last night at the Vichit Resort in Rawai to roll out the red carpet for Phuket metaphorically, at least.

Shooting has just concluded after eight days around Cape Promthep, Nai Yang beach, Kata, Old Phuket Town, and Kai island.

The backdrop is almost as important as the stars and the script because the 30-minute film is designed to promote Phuket and provide encouragement for those who see it to visit the island.

First viewing will be at a film festival in Korea shortly, says former Orbortor president Anchalee Vanich Tephabutra, who is now the Deputy Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department.

While it's expected that on Monday, Cha-Am and Hua Hin are likely to be announced as the venues for the Asean Plus Six summit, Khun Anchalee and the Tourist Association of Phuket are hoping that delegates will get the chance to see Phuket at its best in the film.

Perhaps some of the visitors might even decide to stay on in Thailand a little longer to see what they missed. Who knows?

Directed by Athid Achsarat, the film is likely to be screened on Thai Airways flights and possibly on flights from Korea to Thailand by other airlines as well.

The stars of Phuket are well-known Thai actor Sorapong Chartree, who has made 40 movies but never before a short film, and Korean actress Im Soo-jeong.

The plot thickens when a resort taxi driver takes a Korean visitor on a sightseeing trip around the island.

As expected in such a glorious setting, romance blossoms. Before you can say ''Korean honeymooners,'' the travel trip becomes a love story.

As Khun Sorapong told the media last night: ''It's very small, but it's big,'' obviously referring to Phuket.

But then, the same could be said about the island, too.

Backing for the film, latest in a series named after Thai destinations, came from the Finance Ministry.

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