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Film: Phuket, ready for close-up

A group of Phuket based American screenwriters are hoping to do for Phuket what China did for Chiang Mai by shooting a feature film entirely on the island.


By The Phuket News

Saturday 21 March 2015, 10:00AM


Actor Tommy Chong will take part in Barefoot, a feature film expected to take place entirely in Phuket. Filiming begins in October. The launch party  will take place March 26 in Kalim.

Actor Tommy Chong will take part in Barefoot, a feature film expected to take place entirely in Phuket. Filiming begins in October. The launch party will take place March 26 in Kalim.

Chiang Mai became increasingly popular with Chinese tourists after the Chinese comedy Lost In Thailand was filmed there in 2012. Now, Phuket will be the setting for the film Barefoot with a script that had its genesis on the island.

Jim Newport, an Emmy-nominated writer/director/production designer who has worked on such projects as Mechanic II, Lost, and Bangkok Dangerous, will host a “launch party” for Barefoot , his feature film project. The event will take place on March 26 at HOME, Bed Bar Kitchen restaurant in Kalim.

Newport will be working alongside producer Les Nordhauser (Greenlight Films) for the feature. A synopsis of the film reads:

Barefoot (an original screenplay by Jim Newport) is a contemporary drama that follows an American schoolteacher (James Dumont,) a retired couple (Tommy Chong and Pepper Jay) and an ex-boxer (Max Ryan) on their journey to retirement in Phuket.

Two Northern Thai women and a child also travel to the island. Escaping poverty is their goal. Fate brings these wounded souls to a magical, thatched roof beachside bar in Phuket.

Together, their lives are changed… forever.

A short promo will start the launch party off and will include the story, setting, cast, history and future of the movie Barefoot. This is an opportunity for all of Phuket to come together and participate in a rewarding, artistic adventure.

To make this low budget film, not only cash investors are needed – but also: transportation, lodging, caterers, office space, plane tickets, artists, craftsmen, graphic designers, office assistants, actors, extras and wardrobe people... .

According to Newport, the genesis of the project goes back at least six or seven years, when a group of writers on the island who met once a week at the Underwood Art Factory and discussed the craft of screenwriting. The intended goal was to make a film in Phuket.

“I have spent a year and a half writing and developing Barefoot. I have lined up a terrific cast from the US & the UK and we will begin pre-production this summer. The film will be shot October 15 – November 15,” Newport said.

John Underwood, owner of HOME restaurant, is investing in Barefoot – having agreed to lend his Underwood Art Factory and its artisans to the film as a soundstage and workshop for the sets and prop construction and filming.
This brings John’s career full circle as he started out in Australia in 1969 as an assistant to two-time Oscar winning Paint Your Wagon Production Designer John Truscott.

Award-winning Chef Daniel Isberg will create a special movie-themed “Chef’s Dinner” – for B650.
Reservations: 098 764 6753

The Phuket News is a proud sponsor of this event.

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