The poster of the documentary on Italian architecture in Thailand
The documentary on Italian architecture in Thailand

The documentary “Me and the Magic Door. Discovering Italian Architecture in Bangkok,” dedicated to the work of Italian architects, engineers, and artists active in Thailand between 1868 and 1930, was screened at the Venice Film Festival.

The documentary was filmed and produced by the Italian Embassy in Bangkok, with the support of the Italian-Thai Chamber of Commerce.

As was done for the presentations in Thailand, the screening, which took place on Sept. 6, was accompanied by a debate with film director Marco Gatti, scriptwriter Francesca Andreini and the project’s scientific advisor, Neungreudee Lohapon of the University of Chulalongkorn. The initiative is the prelude to a Focus on Thailand, to be held at the Venice Film Festival in September 2023.

the production of the documentary

The screening was also an opportunity for a meeting dedicated to cultural relations between Italy and Thailand and opportunities for collaboration in the film industry. 

The meeting, held at the Italian Pavilion inside the Excelsior Hotel, was attended by the Italian Ambassador to Bangkok, Lorenzo Galanti, the Deputy Governor of the Thailand Tourism Authority (TAT), the Head of the Milan office of the Ministry of Trade and, via video conference from Bangkok, two Thai film studios.

The interior of an Italian house in Bangkok

Promotion in Italy of the documentary will continue today, Sept. 8, in Turin where, in collaboration with the National Cinema Museum, a screening will take place at Cinema Massimo. A debate with the same panel present in Venice will follow. Indeed, many architects that the film mentions came from Turin, specifically from the Accademia Albertina.

Finally, the 50 DVD copies of the film with subtitles in Italian, Thai, or English, will be distributed to all the institutions that took part in its production, starting from Thailand’s Ministry of Culture, which sponsored the project, and the newly elected Governor of Bangkok. A box set of the DVD was also sent, as a gift, to King Rama X on the occasion of his recent farewell audience.