The Wonderful Town director joins the ranks of Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Wisit Sasanatieng, Thunska Pansittivorakul, Nonzee Nimibutr and Pimpaka Towira as an honoree for the award for Thai contemporary art.
Bestowed annually since 2004, the Silpathorn Award (รางวัลศิลปาธร) is given by the Thai Culture Ministry's Office of Contemporary Arts and Culture to artists at mid-career under the age of 50.
Born in 1972 in Bangkok, Aditya studied at New York University and the University of Southern California. His first short was Motorcycle, which was the winner of many prizes, including the R.D. Pestonji Award at the Thai Short Film & Video Festival in 2000. It still turns up in festivals.
He took part in the Rolex Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative in 2004, being mentored by Indian filmmaker Mira Nair.
Wonderful Town in 2007 was his first feature. The story of a big-city architect's fleeting relationship with a small-town hotel owner in a tsunami-stricken southern Thailand town, it shared the New Currents Prize at the Pusan International Film Festival and the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
As an independent film, given a limited release in Thailand in 2008, it made history last year when it was the top winner of the Thai film industry's biggest honors, the Subhanahongsa Awards.
Aditya's other projects include 3 Friends (Ma-Mee), which he co-directed with Mingmongkol Sonakul and Pumin Chinaradee; Bangkok Blues, which was part of last year's Sawasdee Bangkok short-film anthology; and another short, Phuket, a South Korean-Thai tourism promotion.
He's at work on his sophomore solo feature, the semi-autobiographical romance High Society, starring Ananda Everingham.
Aditya runs Pop Pictures, a production company that has made the Dreamchaser TV series starring musician Sukie Sukosol Clapp on his motorcycle journeys, as well as music videos. Pop Pictures has also backed the projects of many other indie filmmakers, including the feature Eternity by Sivaroj Kongsakul.
Both High Society and Eternity will be featured in the upcoming Paris Project screenings.
Other Silpathorn Award winners this year are:
- Chaiyoot Tosa-nga, leader of the Boy Thai band, for music
- Saneh Sangsuk, author of White Shadow, for literature
- Patama Roonrakwit, the Association of Siamese Architects' Young Architect Award winner, for architecture
- Nikorn Saetang, theatre director, for performing arts
- Navin Rawanchaikul, artist, for visual arts
- Withoon Khunalangkan for interior design
- Pracha Suveeranont for graphic design
- Wasinburi Supanichwarapat for design
The recipients each receive a shield of honor, 100,000 baht cash and a jeweled golden brooch.
(Via The Nation; photo via Flickr by cjegu)