18:49 - 22nd January 2013, by David West

Thai Drama Hi-so Coming To Cinemas In March

Taking its name from Thai slang for high society people, Aditya Assarat's Hi-so stars Loatian-Australian actor Ananda Everingham as a self-absorbed man repeating the same mistakes in different relationships.

Returning to Thailand after studying overseas, Ananda (Everingham) accepts a role in a movie about a man with amnesia in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

During production, Ananda neglects his girlfriend Zoe (Cerise Leang), who winds up hanging out with staff at the hotel where the crew are staying.

Months later Ananda is living with another girl, May (Sajee Apiwong), but she is uncomfortable with his partying lifestyle.

Director Aditya Assarat was born in Bangkok and studied film production at the University of Southern California.

He started his career by making his thesis film Motorcycle in 2000 which was the first Thai film to compete in Clermont-Ferrand, Tampere, Oberhausen and Sundance film festivals.

"I think this project should start with voices," says Assarat. "We talk in our own language and it sounds like no other language in the world. It's a mix of Thai and English and probably nobody can understand it except people who know both languages. If you know one but not the other, then only half of it makes sense. In this way, we're no different from a tribe."

"So my approach is to shoot a documentary about a tribe of youth. It's a new tribe which only recently came into being. A century ago, if you were born in Thailand, it meant something definite. It meant you spoke Thai, probably never left your country, maybe never even left your town."

"But nowadays, with low cost airlines and internet, things aren't so simple. New tribes have sprouted up around the world that are not defined by national borders but by education, taste and opportunity."

Hi-so will open in UK cinemas on 1 March 2013 from Day For Night films.

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