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Still from the film "Scala" by Ananta Thitanat. We see a shot from below as a group of men on scaffolding work to remove light fixtures from the ceiling.
Ananta Thitanat, SCALA © Bandai Dam Studio
  • Director

    Ananta Thitanat

  • Thailand / 2022
    65 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language


First the chandelier is dismantled in the foyer, each string of lamps lowered to the floor one by one. The other retro light fittings come later, after the curtain that lines the walls of the auditorium has been pulled down and before the seats are unscrewed and carried out. As the director narrates in impassive voiceover, the Scala has recently ceased operations, the last of the three great cinemas built in Bangkok in the 1960s to close its doors to the public. Her father used to work at the already shuttered Siam, and she spent much of her childhood there, sleeping behind the projection room, her sheets of the same fabric as the curtains. Her recollections flow into those of who appear on camera, those whose lives are just as linked to such spaces as hers and who now strip it bare. As the space empties out ever further, it is perversely filled by something else: an almost unbearable sense of melancholy that infects director, staff and audience alike, at a life, at a culture, at a community that will soon disperse, even if its importance remains undimmed, here and elsewhere too. In the dark windows behind the palms, the only moving images are reflections of the glowing billboards. (James Lattimer)

Ananta Thitanat, born in 1982 in Bangkok, Thailand. Following two documentary shorts, Scala is her first feature-length work.

Production Abhichon Rattanabhayon. Production company Bandai Dam Studio (Bangkok, Thailand). Written and directed by Ananta Thitanat. Cinematography Ananta Thitanat. Editing Abhichon Rattanabhayon. Sound design Nopawat Likitwong. Co-producer Nontawat Numbenchapol. Co-production Mobile Lab Project. With Pongpop Inheen, Saman Watcharasirirot, Nakorn Nuannngein, Sampao Phasukdin, Wilairat Angkabkaew.

Films: 2020: Ghost (30 min.). 2021: Kembali (23 min.). 2022: Scala.

Bonus Material

Essay and Director's Statement

  • Still from the film "Scala" by Ananta Thitanat. We see an empty hall with boards leaning against walls, and a black and white cat laying on the ground.


    In "When the Lights Go Down” Alfonse Chiu reflects on traditions of cinema-going in Thailand and the closure of its last great picture house.

  • Still from the film "Scala" by Ananta Thitanat. In a shot from the back of a cinema looking forward, we see a man walking down the centre row. Where the screen should be are only beams and speakers.

    Director's Statement

    Ananta Thitanat on the hidden memories that emerged during the production of SCALA.

Forum Program 2022

Funded by:

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