Bangkok ‘Fem Film Fest’ to Celebrate Power of Women

A scene from ‘Amdaeng Muen and Nai Rid.’

BANGKOK — Before 1865, Thai parents got to decide who their daughters married. But one woman stepped up and fought for her love.

To celebrate women’s achievements and promote their works on International Women’s Day next month, the Bangkok Screening Room – the capital’s alternative cinema – will host the Fem Film Festival.

The six-day festival will screen 10 films exploring the struggles and accomplishments of women in their professions, politics and life.

The highlights include 1991 road movie “Thelma & Louise,” which later became a feminist film icon. The film follows two best friends who plan a weekend getaway from their boyfriend and husband.

It’s rare to see a Thai film where a woman steps up for herself. Based on a true story that took place under the reign of King Rama IV, 1994’s “Amdaeng Muen and Nai Rid” tells the story of Amdaeng Muen, who sued for the right to marry Rid, a man of her own choosing.

A “witch camp” in Zambia is portrayed through grim, picturesque yet provocative satire in “I Am Not a Witch.” It tells the story of an 8-year-old girl accused of witchcraft.

For documentaries, “Half the Picture” investigates discrimination against talented female filmmakers in Hollywood, while “Soufra” follows Mariam Shaar who – having lived in a Lebanese refugee camp all her life – causes societal change through the launch of a food truck business.

Outspoken writer and social critic Lakkana Panvichai, or Kam Paka, will join a talk panel March 9.

International Women’s Day is March 8. The Fem Film Festival runs March 5 through March 10 at Bangkok Screening Room. Details on the schedule and tickets will be announced at a later date. The cinema is located on the second floor of the Woof Pack Building on Soi Sala Daeng 1.

Get there by foot or a short ride from BTS Sala Daeng or MRT Lumphini.