A drama about family dysfunction and gay teen romance, The Love of Siam, won the two top Subhanahongsa Awards on Sunday night.
The Best Director award went to Chukiat Sakweerakul, who thanked his parents for teaching him what love was all about. He also thanked the drama's ensemble cast, saying "this award is not for me alone, but for all who acted in the film." Chukiat, 26, had previously directed the psychological thriller, 13 Beloved, and made his feature-film debut with 2004's psychological horror Pisaj (Evil). He will next be working on a follow-up to 13 Beloved, 14 Begin.
Winning the Best Film award, Love of Siam producer Prachaya Pinkaew thanked Sahamongkol Film International executive producer Somsak "Sia Jieng" Techarattanaprasert "for not allowing commercial gains be the priority in producing The Love of Siam", according to The Nation.
Although the filmmakers made a conscious effort to market the film to mainstream audiences by omitting aspects of the gay romance between the two male characters in the film's posters and trailers, The Love of Siam was still a commercial risk because of its length, of around 2.5 hours. A three-hour director's cut has been showing to sold-out audiences at the tiny House cinema in Bangkok.
The Love of Siam also won Best Supporting Actress for Chermarn "Ploy" Boonyasak's role as the lookalike of a sister who had disappeared. (Or was possibly the sister, but had amnesia - who knows?)
The Best Actress award was an upset, going to Marsha Wattanapanich for her role as conjoined twin sisters in the horror thriller, Alone. This shut out a National Film Association win for Sinjai Plengpanich, who played the troubled mother in The Love of Siam. Sinjai had already won other Best Actress awards for her role, include Starpics and the Kom Chad Luek Awards. This year's Best Actress category was very competitive, though, featuring many fine performances by some veteran Thai leading ladies. Others nominated were Lalita Panyopas Sasiprapha for Ploy, Woranuch Wongsawan for Perng Mang the Haunted Drum and Suwajanee Chaimusik for Seven Days to Leave My Wife.
Akara Amarttayakul and Sonthaya Chitmanee won the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards for Muay Thai Chaiya. Akara portrays a boxer caught up in the gritty underground world of Muay Thai in the 1970s, while Sonthaya played Akara's character's loyal friend.
Muay Thai Chaiya won the most awards. In addition to the best actor and best supporting actor nods, it also won for Best Editing, Best Make-Up and Best Art Direction.
The homosexual crime action thriller Bangkok Love Story won Best Screenplay (for director Poj Arnon) and Best Cinematography (for Tiwa Moeithaisong). It also won for Best Sound, and was tied for second place with three awards with The Love of Siam, which won Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress.
Alone also picked up the award for Best Song, "Suan Nueng Khong Chan", which was sung by Marsha. The Life of Buddha won for Best Score, which was one of the highlights of the animated drama.
The awards ceremony was held at in Bangkok at Siam Niramitr Theatre and was attended by about 1,000 celebrities. From what I gather from the photos of the ceremony, it was a relatively understated, austere affair, in memorium of HRH Princess Galyani Vadana, who died on January 2.
Black was the color of choice for most gowns, Marsha Wattanapanich's red dress (to match her lipstick) being one of the exceptions. There were a few others, too, including some actors wearing all-white suits.
Some of the dresses sported by some of the guests in attendance were a bit too revealing. But there was nothing approaching the flesh-baring, liberating gutsiness that Amy Chotiros showed last year, which caused a huge scandal that saw the actress being harshly disciplined by her university and cut out of a movie role. This year, presenters were under orders to keep their wardrobe tasteful. For a look at some of the celebrities and what they were wearing, check out this gallery at The Nation Weblogs.
Widely viewed as "Thailand's Oscars", the Subhanahongsa Awards are given by the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand.
Subhanahongsa Awards for films released in 2007
- The Love of Siam (Sahamongkol Film Internationa)
- Chukiat Sakweerakul for The Love of Siam
- Akara Amarttayakul for Muay Thai Chaiya
- Marsha Wattanapanich for Alone
Best Supporting Actor
- Sonthaya Chitmanee for Muay Thai Chaiya
Best Supporting Actress
- Chermarn Boonyasak for The Love of Siam
- Poj Arnon for Bangkok Love Story
- Tiwa Moeithaisong for Bangkok Love Story
Best Film Editing
- Sonit Atwinigon for Muay Thai Chaiya
- Wachai Rawongsarut for Bangkok Love Story
Best Original Song
- "Suan Nueng Khong Chan", from Alone, performed by Marsha Wattanapanich
Best Original Score
- Gaywan Golawanotai for The Life of Buddha
Best Art Direction
- Tana Maykaampoot and Natniti Sotganwijit for Muay Thai Chaiya
Best Costume Design
- Charaa Wanaalai for Kung Fu Tootsie
Best Make Up
- Marit Choakbecha for Muay Thai Chaiya
Best Visual Effects
- Julien Vanhoenacker and Joaquim Montserrat for Body #19
- Subhanahongsa Awards 2008 photo gallery at Nation Weblog
- Love of Siam takes top Subhanahongsa Awards
- Love of Siam leads Subhanahongsa nominees
(Via Lakorns; Photo: From left, best supporting actor Sonthaya Chitmanee, best supporting actress Chermarn Boonyasak; best actress Marsha Wattanapanich; best actor Akara Amarttayakul, via The Nation/Warisara Wuthikul)