THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF DOCUMENTARY AND SHORT FILM OF BILBAO—ZINEBI—IS AWARDING THE SECOND MIKELDI OF HONOUR OF ITS 60TH YEAR TO THE THAI FILM-MAKER APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF HIS EXTENSIVE WORK AND HETERODOX CINEMATOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE

ZINEBI60 will be held from 9th to 16th November and the prize will be awarded at the closing gala, which will host the Spanish premiere of Blue, his latest short film, and include a screening of the collective film 10 Years Thailand.

On 14th and 15th November, the festival will screen a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum comprising 22 of his short and medium-length films, some of them never before seen in Spain. Apichatpong Weerasethakul—winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2010—will also give a masterclass focussing on the cultural sources and artistic references that inspire his films.

The 60th International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao – ZINEBI, organised by Bilbao City Council, will award the second Mikeldi of Honour to the Thai film-maker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, in acknowledgement of a thorough and coherent audio-visual work of great poetic depth that combines reality and fantasy with complete naturalness.

He will receive the tribute from the festival at the ZINEBI60 closing gala, which will be held at Teatro Arriaga and start at 8 p.m. on 16th November. The event will host the Spanish premiere of his latest short film, Blue, which was just released at the Toronto Festival, and will also include a screening of the collective film 10 Years Thailand, co-directed by Apichatpong with some of the best-known names in Thai cinema (Aditya Assarat, Chulayarnnon Siriphol and Wisit Sasanatieng).

In 2004, ZINEBI became the first festival in Spain to include a sample of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s amazing filmography in its programme, comprising his two first feature films and six of his short films. On this occasion, the Thai film-maker and multidisciplinary plastic artist will visit Bilbao to collect the main prize at the festival, which will also show a retrospective of his work—on 14th and 15th November at the Guggenheim Museum—comprising 22 short and medium-length films, some of which have never been seen before in Spain. The winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2010 will also give a masterclass on the cultural sources and artistic references that inspire his films, his staging procedures and how he works with the actors.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Bangkok, 1970) holds a place of pride amongst that small group of film-makers worldwide that have their very own, very original perspective. His cinematographic work—which he does in parallel to his work as a visual and plastic artist—brings reality, fantasy, dreams, nightmares and ghosts together in a single place, which operates according to its own rules. His cinema is demanding and poetic and, at the same time, appeals to our most primal emotions.

Brought up in the north east of Thailand, he studied architecture at Khon Kaen University (and this province is the setting for most of his work) and then at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Mysterious Object at Noon (Dokfa nai meuman, 2000) was his first feature film: a heterodox explosion into international film that catapulted his career from the moment it premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. He won the prize in the section Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Festival with his Blissfully yours (Sud sanaeha, 2002), followed two years later by the Jury Prize at the same festival for Tropical Malady (Sud pralad, 2004). For its part, Syndromes and a Century (Sang sattawat, 2006) was the first Thai film to compete for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. In 2010, back in Cannes, he won the Palme d’Or for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Lung Boonme raluek chat, 2010). In 2016, his film work was integrally reviewed at the prestigious Tate Britain in London.

Over the past decade, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has multiplied his creation of video-installations, exhibitions and projects for art galleries and museums. In 2001, he produced Haunted Houses Project: Thailand for the Istanbul Biennial, in 2006, he directed Faith for the Liverpool Biennial and, in 2012, he was invited to take part at documenta in Kassel, for which he produced the installation The Importance of Telepathy. He has also created works for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (Cactus River, 2012), the Saitama Triennale (Invisibility, 2016), the National Gallery Singapore (Ablaze, 2016); the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo (Synchronicity, in collaboration with Hisakado Tsuyoshi, 2018) and the Elba Benítez Gallery in Madrid (Fiction, 2018), amongst other international museums and institutions.

The honorary acknowledgements he has received over recent years include the Fukuoka Prize in Japan (2013), the Sharjah Biennial Prize in the United Arab Emirates (2013), the Yanghyun Prize in South Korea (2014) and the Prince Claus Award for Culture and Development in the Netherlands (2016). In 2008, the French Ministry for Culture conferred on him the distinction of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The honorary French distinction was raised from Chevalier to Commandeur in 2017.

MEDIA ACCREDITATION:
APPLICATION PERIOD FROM 3RD TO 31ST OCTOBER ON THE FESTIVAL WEBSITE: http://zinebi.eus/web/en/press/accreditations