Heartland Film Festival Interview: Chin Tangsakulsathaporn, Director of “The Sweatshop”

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When there’s a story about people working in a sweatshop, all of the focus is on the suffering and the inhumanity of their situation. Yet in his Festival Award winning short film writer/director Chin Tangsakulsathaporn is able to show a greater dimension to his two young heroes as they search for hope.

We were honored to be able to talk with Chin about his amazing short film and why he feels inspired to make a film.

Heartland Film Festival: What was it like working with your children actors? With a difficult subject matter, did they always know what the story was about?

Chin Tangsakulsathaporn: Working with children actors was a big challenge for me. At times they will be all hyperactive and eager to take another scene and then all of a sudden they will just be petulant and want to go home. It’s hard to control little kids.  Before the shoot, we had a workshop with all of our cast, including the children. So they were all well aware of the subject and their role. We wanted them to get used to each other as well as understand the story of the film they will be acting in.

Heartland Film Festival: Despite the fact this is about children working in a sweatshop, there always seems to be a degree of hope surrounding the story. Why was this important for you?

Chin Tangsakulsathaporn: I believe that everyone should have hope. When you are at your bottom point of your life, hope will be able to pull you up. I thought it was important for Mimi and Lee to always be hoping for their freedom because who would have thought that the hope in those kids can take them out of the sweatshop.

Heartland Film Festival: Your commercial work is more experimental. Why did you want to tell this movie was something more grounded in reality?

Chin Tangsakulsathaporn: Personally, I always prefer to make films that reflect social problems we see nowadays. It is the least that I can give back to the community or society that I live in. It is never a good part that we see such problems   occurring in our world today, I try to raise awareness through my film.

Heartland Film Festival: What is the film/TV/commercial industry like in Thailand?

 

Chin Tangsakulsathaporn: In Thailand, it happens to be that the commercial industry is doing best amongst film and TV shows. We have famous and well known TVC director such as Tor Thanonchai. Whilst film industry is rising.

Heartland Film Festival: Are you working on a next project?

Chin Tangsakulsathaporn: After I was done producing “The Sweatshop” in New York I had to go back to Thailand and be a professor at a university. So right now I am a film professor! For my future project. I am planning to make “The Sweatshop” into a feature film. Now it’s still in the script process.

Heartland Film Festival: What are the moving films that have inspired you as a filmmaker?

Chin Tangsakulsathaporn: There are two films that I really like and whenever I watch them, I am moved; they are City of God and Promised Land. Both movies portray social problems in the society. It shows the truth of this world how each life is never a complete one. We are all missing something; sometimes we know, sometimes we don’t. Every time I watch these movies, I always feel something.

“The Sweatshop” will play during the program Festival Award Shorts 2 and you can buy tickets for the following screenings…

 

  • Friday, October 18 at 10:15 a.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14**
  • Friday, October 18 at 3:45 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14**
  • Sunday, October 20 at 12 p.m. at AMC Traders Point 12**
  • Monday, October 21 at 3:15 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14
  • Tuesday, October 22 at 2:45 p.m. at AMC Traders Point 12
  • Wednesday, October 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Wheeler Arts Community
  • Friday, October 25 at 6:45 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14
  • Saturday, October 26 at 8:15 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14

 

**Chin is scheduled to attend the following screenings.

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