A group of high school students who dreamt of making movies set out to make a short film based on the life of their beloved classmate. However, they soon uncover a secret that may change their perspective on filmmaking forever.
Not Friends is the International Feature submission for Thailand. The film is about Pae, a grade 12 student who just got transferred to a new school. He was expelled from his previous school due to a physical altercation with his ex-girlfriend and her friend. One of Pae’s new classmate is Joe, who tries to strike a new friendship with him. But Pae has no interest at all in forming any friends. But slowly, day by day, their bond begins to grow. It’s all cut too short though when Joe dies instantly from getting hit by a car while crossing the street.
Pae isn’t the brightest of students and his only hope for getting into university, a goal he wants to achieve in order to avoid working in his father’s business, is to enter a competition in creating a short film. He has no previous experience in the film industry nor is he the most creative of people. While writing the script for his film though, he comes up with an idea to steal one of Joe’s stories from an external hard drive he kept before his classmate passed away. The film is ready to get started, and now all he needs is help from his peers to get it done before the deadline.
Joe’s story incorporates the thought of parallel universes. It’s the idea that in an alternate universe, or an alternate reality, a self-contained plane of existence can co-exist with one’s own. Joe, despite being a cheerful guy, was struggling internally with money issues and goals that he was struggling to achieve. His script created a world where in another planet he’s an athlete, or an astronaut, or successful and truly happy. It’s a comfort to believe that out there there could be more versions of oneself, better versions, or versions where life doesn’t end at the age of 17.
Friendship is the heart of the film. Relationships during high school are short-lived and once students graduate and move on to different universities, or different trade schools, the military, work or to new cities, these friendships can fade. In this life, one might never get the opportunity to see one’s peers ever again. It’s like a spark from fireworks. But, the bonds created will always matter and have an impact on one’s life, long after graduation.
So farewell to the incredible friendships made over the course of one’s young life, but even more cheers to the not so great friends that also made an impact long after graduation.