Toronto festival role for HK-born cinephile
A Hong Kong-born cinephile has just become one of the most influential film programmers on the international festival circuit. Raymond Phathanavirangoon, a Thai-Chinese film insider who's fluent in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Thai, has been named the Southeast Asia programmer for the acclaimed Toronto International Film Festival, which ranks with Cannes, Berlin and Venice among the most significant showcases in the world. No stranger to the movie biz, he has been working in marketing and special projects for indie art house production company Fortissimo Films and was previously a programmer for the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and Toronto's Reel Asian fest.
'My primary job will be to bring up-and-coming young talent to Toronto and to the world stage,' Phathanavirangoon, who has moved to Canada, said by e-mail. 'But I will also continue the long relationship that the Toronto festival has established with veteran filmmakers as well. I'm especially excited by cinema from countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia, which I believe will continue to rise in prominence. As for Hong Kong, at this point I'm definitely looking for young talent as it is severely lacking in this town.'
Especially since those with some smarts and skills keep getting hired by astute companies and festivals overseas. Good on you, Raymond!