A scene from The Maestro: A Symphony Of Terror. photo courtesy of Somtow Sucharitkul
The Maestro: A Symphony Of Terror, a new Thai film, is scheduled to make its gala premiere at the prestigious Oldenburg International Film Festival in Lower Saxony, Germany, on Sept 19.
One of the few participating films shot during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is a collaboration between British director Paul Spurrier (The Forest
) and Thai composer-conductor Somtow Sucharitkul.
Spurrier produced, shot, and edited the film, while Somtow co-produced, wrote the script and score and made a cameo as a surreal version of himself.
The film features on-screen performances by Siam Sinfonietta, Thailand’s world-renowned youth orchestra that has played to accolades across Germany, in addition to Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Musikverein, and other great concert venues around Asia and the Middle East.
The composer and director are close friends and had worked together on Spurrier’s twisted serial killer mini-series, Eullenia
, which is available on Amazon Prime.
The movie project started six months ago after the pandemic had cancelled live concerts and no films were being made. Somtow was looking for a way to create work for both their musicians and film crews while Spurrier came up with a movie about a mad composer who abducts a youth orchestra to create a musical utopia in a crumbling old mansion, a paradise that quickly becomes a nightmare.
Somtow put on his screenwriting hat and wrote the script. Spurrier shot the entire film himself, taking advantage of lockdown filming that was allowed only under controlled conditions.
Life on the set, apart from having to work constantly within Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, was an exciting journey of discovery for both musicians and film people. Numerous renowned Thai actors appear in the film, including Vithaya Parnsringarm, David Asvanond, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Soonthorn Meesri, and Michael Shaowanasai.
There are also plans for Siam Sinfonietta to perform at the opening and closing of the Oldenburg International Film Festival, which will be held from Sept 15 to 19. Named one of the top five indie festivals worldwide and called “The German Sundance”, the film festival has fostered its success with a strong commitment to innovative and independent filmmaking.
The Maestro: A Symphony Of Terror will arrive in Thai theatres once safety regulations in Thailand surrounding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic are relaxed.
For a trailer, visit youtube.com/watch?v=a7AOqAa6Ymg.