Island Funeral

Aperture 2018


a film by Pimpaka Towira


Winner: Best Asian Future Film Award

Tokyo International Film Festival 2015

Winner: FIPRESCI Prize

Hong Kong International Film Festival 2016

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London Premiere: 27 Sep, 8.15pm: Close-Up Cinema, London

dir. Pimpaka Towira, Thailand 2015, Thai + subtitles, 105 mins, London premiere

As conflict and political turmoil take over Bangkok, Laila, her brother Zugood and his friend Toy, set off on a road trip heading south to visit their long-lost aunt, leading them to a land stranger than any they could ever have imagined.

Laila is a smart and confident woman, but what makes her feel different is the fact that she belongs to the 5% Muslim minority in a predominantly Buddhist country. She has always felt caught between two worlds: one of traditional Muslim values as impressed upon her by her family and the community in which she grew up, and of being part of a minority in the ‘global village’ of Bangkok.

Laila, along with her brother Zugood, and friend Toy, set off from Bangkok in search of their long lost aunt, as conflict and political turmoil take over the capital. Yet, away from the political tension of the city, they are oblivious to the volatile situation and violent outbreaks that have been taking place in the south of Thailand for many years. The tense atmosphere is palpable, with increased military presence in the area. Over the course of a 1,000km road trip, fragmented images from Laila’s past surface, from her family, life, work and love, which overlap with the memories of those around her, while their feelings of insecurity intensify as they head further towards an unknown destination.

On the way, they cross paths with Surin, a young soldier from the northeast of the country. Seemingly caught in a never-ending journey through this danger zone, Surin feels like an outsider and isolated. Only memories and hope keep him going. The four decide to continue their journey together and they head off on a road which leads them to a land stranger than any they could ever have imagined.


“a quietly gripping tale with its own distinctive voice” – Richard Kuipers, Variety

“a road movie that’s as mesmerizing as it is tense” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

The Island Funeral accomplishes the difficult feat of rolling political commentary into the template of a “lost highway” horror film- Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine

Past Screenings:

29 Mar 2018: Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival, CCA Glasgow

4, 5 & 7 Nov 2016: Leeds International Film Festival



Directed by: Pimpaka Towira

Screenplay: Pimpaka Towira, Kong Rithdee

Cinematography: Phuttiphong Aroonpheng

Cast: Heen Sasithorn, Aukrit Pornsumpunsuk, Yossawat Sittiwong, Pattanapong Sriboonrueang, Wanlop Rungkamjad, Kiatsuda Piromya

Producers: Pimpaka Towira, Chatchai Chaiyon

Associate Producer: Donsaron Kovitvanitcha

Sound Design: Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr

Original Music: Inspirative, Noppanan Panicharoen

Country of production: Thailand

Year: 2015

Running time: 105 mins

Languages: Thai + subtitles

Also screening in Aperture / Southeast Asia focus

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15 Sep, 6pm: Kings College London (Lucas Theatre) – London premiere presented in partnership with Chinese Visual Festival


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dir. Davy Chou, Cambodia/France/Germany 2016, Khmer + subtitles, 101 min

17 Sep: 8.15pm, Close-Up Cinema, London + Q&A with Kanitha Tith, UK premiere


Asia Through the Aperture – regional framings in cinema and art

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free workshop jointly organised by Aperture and CREAM, University of Westminster

18 Sep: University of Westminster, London


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dir. John Torres, Philippines 2017, Filipino/Tagalog + subtitles, 89 min

24 Sep: Close-Up Cinema, London + Q&A with John Torres

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