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Posted: Wed., Jan. 20, 2010, 4:35am PT

Eddie Saeta joins 'Uncle Boonmee'

Weerasethakul pic shoots in Bangkok, Isan

BARCELONA — Spain's Eddie Saeta has boarded "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," the latest pic from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

The sixth feature from Weerasethakul ( "Blissfully Yours," "Tropical Malady") "Boonmee" turns on the last 48 hours of Uncle Boonmee, who recalls six of his past lives on his deathbed. The reincarnations play out against a jungle bristling with spirits and animals.

"Weerasethakul meshes avant-guard inspiration and traditional Thai culture in a very personal fashion," said Eddie Saeta producer Luis Minarro.

"I want to introduce Weerasethakul to Spain, where he is practically unknown," he added.

Budgeted at around $1 million, Thai-language "Uncle Boonmee" rolled from October, lensing when weather conditions allowed. It will shoot through February in Bangkok and Isan, a region in northeast Thailand.

"Boonmee" is now structured as a co-production between Barcelona-based Eddie Saeta, Simon Field and Keith Griffiths' Illuminations Films in the U.K., Charles de Meaux's Anna Sanders Films in France and Weerasethakul's Bangkok-based label Kick the Machine Films.

Also co-producing are Hans Geissendoerfer's Fernsehproduktion, and Michael Weber's Match Factory, both in Germany.

Match Factory has picked up international rights. Germany's ZDF and Arte have German broadcast rights.

One of Spain's most prestigious arthouse producers ("In the City of Sylvia," "Liverpool"), Eddie Saeta has two features in post — Jose Maria de Orbe's "Aita" and Agusti Vila's "The Mosquito Net."

With Portugal's Filmes do Tejo, Minarro is also producing the next film from Portugal's Manoel de Oliveira, "The Strange Case of Angelica."


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