Interview with Palatpol Mingpornpichit: The most important inspiration is "Inspiration"

We speak with Palatpol Mingpornpichit about the process of making the film, cooperating with a kid actor, LGBT in Thailand and many more topics.

Palatpol Mingpornpichit is a filmmaker from Thailand. "Fathers" is his debut feature. We speak with him about the process of making the film, cooperating with a kid actor, LGBT in Thailand and many more topics.

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Can you tell us a bit about the path that led you to the shooting of "Fathers"?

I did my first movie when I just graduated from the university. I had to find financial support by myself. Actually, it's not a successful movie because I had not enough experience. Until one day, it occurred to me that if I give up riding bicycle just because I fell once, I will get nothing and be hurt for nothing. And yes, like everything, so I decided to do the second movie.

Why did you choose the particular topic for your film? What research did you do regarding the concept of gay families with adopted children? Because the presentation of the concept is rather detailed. 

The inspiration came from my personal life. Me and my partner have been in a relationship for 12 years. I love kids. I want to have a kid. Apart from that, I did as much research as possible a about the way 6-year-old kids think and feel.


Why did you choose a couple that is quite rich to protagonist? 

I don't know the standards in other countries, but in Thailand, I think that you must have a a strong financial status in order to adopt a child. In my opinion, the family in the movie is not so rich.  "Phoon" is a salary man who is a manager like me, while "Yuke" is a graphic designer. This kind of home can be found in upper-middle-class people and above in Thailand. And apart from the motorbike, their car is just a Honda HRV, not a luxury car or a super sport car.

Almost everyone in the film (the social worker, the other parents in the school) seem to be against a gay couple raising a child. Is that the case in Thailand at the moment? In general, what is the situation with LGBTI in the country?

 In Thailand, not that much people hate LGBT. They don't feel strange towards LGBT couples. To the contrary, they are rather impressed when they find out that these couples have long-term relationships. But if we emphasize to LGBT family (with kid or kids), it is still something new for our society, which makes people feel awkward easily.


I found the character of the Rattiya, one of the most interesting in the film. How did you come up with her role and how did you guided Sinjai Plengpanit through her role?

Rattiya is the character who comes to catalyze both fathers. At first, everyone will assume that she is the antagonist. Although she looks conservative and interfere with family's way of life, she still has a good heart and really wants to help this kid. Because in the another way, she is an orphan as well. By the way, Sinjai is a talented actress and has many acting experiences. So it was quite easy to guide her.

What was the production process like for the film? How did you choose Aritach Pipattangkul to play Butr? Was there any difficulties with directing a child-actor? 

I am a freelance director. I write a screenplay and then search for  financial support by myself, along with support from my partner. Actually, I've founded Arituch from his Instagram and he is so cute. Then I ask my partner to contact his parents for a casting. As you know, working with kids is not that easy. How luckily we are that he is very concentrated and diligent. Meanwhile, his parents are also very nice and bring him up very well. So we got familiar with each other quickly. That made my work with him and the explanations I gave him why something happened on set very easy

What is your opinion of Thai cinema today, and particularly the indie/art-house scene in the country.

Nowadays, we have many Thai indy movies in the industry but rarely have a support from the government. But because of my struggling,  I founded a financial support and barter from some organizations. I have to say that making this movie didn't make me richer. But I'm really proud of it for a screening in more than 15 countries. Many people said that making a film in Thailand, if you have no money support, you'll be poorer. Especially screening in mainstream cinema which is a monopoly entrepreneurship in this industry.


Which are your most important inspirations as a filmmaker?

The most important inspiration is "Inspiration". Making a film won't make you rich. Conversely, it can make you poorer as well. So, for me, deciding to do a film, I must have a strong inspiration.

What are your plans for the future?

Actually, I have already had an inspiration to do the next film. But I have to prepare many things for financial support. Now I have to work for myself first. Lol

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Asian Film Vault: Interview with Palatpol Mingpornpichit: The most important inspiration is "Inspiration"
Interview with Palatpol Mingpornpichit: The most important inspiration is "Inspiration"
We speak with Palatpol Mingpornpichit about the process of making the film, cooperating with a kid actor, LGBT in Thailand and many more topics.
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