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Fit for a king

Sahamongkol honours the late monarch

Photos by Varuth Hiranyatheb and courtesy of Sahamongkol Film International

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A special new movie celebrates the late King's ideas.

It’s a time when the kingdom is united in sadness after the funeral of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Sahamongkol Film International is marking this historic occasion with an important reminder of the King’s message.

Starting this week and running until the end of November, cinemas up and down the country will be showing the special anthology film Kong Kwan (The Present). Admission is free.

The Present consists of four short films directed by Prachya Pinkaew, Nonzee Nimibutr, Kongkiat Khomsiri and Chookiat Sakveerakul. The stories — The Letter, Flowers in the Dirt, Faithful and Rainclouds Over the Northern Forest — are all inspired by the late King’s teachings. The Present is a gift to the people of Thailand, reminding them of the late King’s love and wisdom.

S Weekly caught up with two of the project’s leading actors, Eisaya Hosuwan (Oom) and Chawinroj Likitcharoensakul (Fame), to talk about the film and its important message.

How did you become involved in the project?

Oom: I was invited to take part last year. I’d already worked with Sahamongkol on Siam Square, so I was happy to get involved.

Fame: Director Chookiat Sakveerakul had seen some of my work before and thought I’d be perfect for one of the characters. So he rang me up to see if I was interested. I said yes without hesitation.

Why has Sahamongkol Film decided to make The Present free to the public?

Oom: As the title suggests, it’s a gift from Sahamongkol Film to Thai people — and anybody else who’s interested. The stories were inspired by some of the most precious lessons from King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Can you tell us about your story?

Fame: The one that we’re in is called Rainclouds Over the Northern Forest. It’s about a group of university students who volunteer to be part of a reforestation campaign in the northern provinces. We play two of the students. My character is called Gap.

Oom: I play Pang. At first it’s just a university project but the students have more ambition than that. They want to plant thousands of trees in the hope of improving the local climate. But they face strong opposition from the local people.

So is it a serious drama?

Oom: No, not really. It has a lot of light moments and elements of romance, and there’s a love triangle. But I shouldn’t go into too much detail. Go see it in the cinema for yourself!

What locations were used in the film?

Fame: We drove up one of the mountains in the north of Chiang Mai province called Doi Mae Sapor. It’s near Doi Inthanon National Park. It took four full days to finish filming.

Oom: It was a fun experience because neither of us had ever been that deep into the forest before. We were filming during the rainy season, which made it a little difficult because it would rain for pretty much the whole day. And there were lots of bugs!

What did you learn from taking part in The Present?

Fame: We learned more about the late King and his royal projects. All the hard work that he did was for the benefit of all Thai people. We should be grateful for that. The King was very concerned about the destruction of the natural environment. He supported various forest preservation and reforestation projects and helped to protect wild animals and plants, especially those in danger of extinction. The reforestation programmes will help create more food and resources for both people and wild animals.

Are you working on any other projects at the moment?

Oom: I’m involved in a couple of TV shows. There’s the romantic comedy Tieng Nangmai and the drama Raeng Ngao 2, which will be coming out very soon.

Fame: I’ll be launching my own brand of facial skincare products by the end of the year.

Learn from listening

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Vocabulary:

admission : permission to enter a place - การเข้าชม การเข้างาน

ambition : the desire or determination to be successful, rich, powerful, etc; something that you want to do or achieve very much - ความทะเยอทะยาน, ความปรารถนาอันแรงกล้า

anthology (noun): a collection of poems, stories, etc. that have been written by different people and published together in a book - การรวบรวมบทประพันธ์ของหลายนักเขียน

benefit : an advantage you get from a situation; a helpful or good effect, or something intended to help - ผลประโยชน์, ข้อได้เปรียบ, ผลดี

brand : a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ

campaign : a planned series of activities - การรณรงค์

character (noun): a person, animal, cartoon figure in a book, play, film etc - ผู้สวมบทบาท, ตัวแสดง

climate : the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place - สภาพอากาศ

concerned : worried about something   - มีความกังวล

consist of : to be made of or formed from something - ประกอบด้วย

destruction : when something is destroyed - การทำลาย, ภาวะที่ถูกทำลาย

element : an important basic part of something - องค์ประกอบ, ส่วนประกอบ

environment : the place in which people live and work, including all the physical conditions that affect them - สภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม

extinction : a situation in which a plant, an animal, a way of life, etc. stops existing - การสูญพันธุ์

facial (adj): connected with a person's face; on a person's face - เกี่ยวกับใบหน้า

funeral : a ceremony that takes place after someone dies - งานศพ

grateful : a feeling that you want thank someone because they have given you something or done something for you - สำนึกบุญคุณ

hesitation : when you pause before doing something, especially because you are nervous or not certain - ความลังเล

historic : of historical importance - ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์

improve : to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น

inspire : to give someone the idea for a piece of work - ทำให้เกิด บันดาลใจให้

involved (verb): taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, มีบทบาท

late : dead - ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว

launch : to start selling a new product or service to the public - เริ่มวางขาย

love triangle : when one person loves another person who loves yet another person, making the situation complicated .... and dangerous - รักสามเส้า, ความรักระหว่างบุคคล 3 คน

mark : to show respect for or to remember - ระลึกถึง

occasion : a time at which something happens - ครั้ง, โอกาส

opposition : strong disagreement with a plan or policy - ความขัดแย้ง

precious : of great value because of being rare, expensive or important - มีค่า,ล้ำค่า

preservation : keeping something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed - การสงวน

project : a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ

reforestation (noun): the act of putting new trees into a place where the original trees have been cut down - การถางป่า  การตัดไม้ทำลายป่า

reminder : something that helps you remember something that happened in the past - สิ่งช่วยเตือนความจำ

resources : things such as water, coal, trees and oil that exist in nature and can be used by people - ทรัพยากร

the public : people in general - ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน

title (noun): a name, especially of a book, a move, an event or award - ชื่อเรื่อง, ชื่อหนังสือ, ชื่อเรียก

united : in agreement and working together - เป็นหนึ่งเดียว, มีเอกภาพ

volunteer : to offer to do something without being forced to do it - อาสา

wisdom : the knowledge that a society or culture has gained over a long period of time - ปัญญา

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