Director’s Prior Work

Posted by on Oct 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


Building for Life: Moving AIDS to the Positive Light, is a story of rebirth and redemption for remarkable villagers living with HIV/AIDS in the northern region of Thailand. I began filmmaking in 2003, when the BFL team and I followed the mobile clinic of Planned Parenthood Association in Thailand, in order to visit the northern villagers and hill tribes for HIV blood tests, counseling, and medical treatment. I witnessed women who experienced discrimination, and marginalization, grief, and fears of a shortened life. Yet, they have revealed profound feelings of hope, intimacy, self-worth, self-discovery, and nurturance that can be inspired by the challenges of living with the silent epidemic of HIV/AIDS. I am extremely motivated to share their captivating life stories, which are at times raw and gritty, other times tender and poetic.

AIDS has become a social death in the rural communities. In the Buddhist cultural practice, villagers believe that past merits have brought them into the deadly disease; it is believed that if they commit meritorious acts they will be able to get through it and survive. Building for Life tells the stories of, not only physical survival, but more importantly life itself, love, and hope, related to social behaviors from rural to urban life. This story is not about dying; it is about  their transformation from within.  In 2010, the documentary received the grant from Ministry of Culture, Thailand, to work on the 55 minute feature documentary, based on the core story of these brave women and men villagers, documenting how they cope with HIV/AIDS, from their broken dreams to self-acceptance.

Building for Life was screened at The 64th Cannes Film Festival, 2011, with the support of the Ministry of Culture on the Thai Film showcase. The documentary is planned to complete post-production with b-rolls and narration, telling the story of how the main character, Jittra can continue to live with her family and return to her community as a craft-maker/ volunteer counselor to help others cope with HIV/AIDS. I just hope with the impact of this final version of documentary, I am able to connect with Thai women in different regions through the Reach Out program of self-empowerment. I want to show women around the world that as we take the journey through our darkest moments, we witness first hand the power of hope and determination to succeed, and rise above demoralizing stigma and discrimination, while bravely striving to live with dignity in a large community.