The 14th Thai Short Film & Video Festival closed on Sunday night with a lively awards ceremony in a packed auditorium at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center.
Special tribute was paid to animator Payut Ngaokrachang, who died in May at age 81. Video footage of the spirited Payut was an interview conducted by historian and Thai Film Archive director Dome Sukwong as well as yellowed reels of the artist and animator working in his studio back in the 1950s. The festival's animation award is named after the creator of Thailand's first animated feature, The Adventure of Sudsakorn, and Payut personally attended the festival each year to present the medallion that he designed to the winner.
A focal point of the ceremony is a large white candle. Everyone is asked to stand when it is lit at the beginning of the ceremony. "It's our tradition to pay respect and memorialize the inspirations for the awards, such as R.D. Pestonji, Pridi Banomyong, etc.," says festival program Sanchai Cotirosseranee.
The winner of the festival's R.D. Pestonji Award – named after the pioneering, influential filmmaker of the 1950s and '60s – was Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit for Cherie is Korean-Thai (เชอรี่เป็นลูกครึ่งเกาหลี), a comical social-message film about an absurd actress interviewing female construction day-laborers as research for a role she'll be playing in a soap opera.
Fabricative (ตั้งแต่เกิด), a 15-minute film involving mannequins, won the White Elephant Award for undergraduate college students. It's directed by Panapan Tangsomboon at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi. The award is named for King of the White Elephant, the 1941 film made by Thammasat University students and faculty and produced by statesman Pridi Banomyong.
The Special White Elephant Award, awarded to students under age 18 went to the 16-minute thriller Damned Life of Yoi (ตัวเ-ี้ย ฝันร้าย และด.ช.หยอย) by Teerath Wangwisarn, who also won the runner-up prize for Men & Women.
A highlight of the ceremony was the third consecutive year of recognition for for 10-year-old filmmaker Phumrapee Sae-tang for his thriller Dream. Two years ago, the pint-sized filmmaker was awarded a special jury prize – a small-sized White Elephant trophy – for his Would You Like to Buy Voice?, and was awarded a special mention last year for Do It By Myself.
Jurors presenting the awards included October Sonata director Somkiet Vituranich and Nak Prok actress Inthira Charoenpura for the R.D. Pestonji Award, Dear Dakanda director Komkrit Treewimol for the White Elephant Award, Unreal Forest director Jakrawal Nilthamrong for the Duke Award for documentaries and Wai Ounlawon 4 director Ruethaiwan Wongsirasawasdi and Singaporean film expert Philip Cheah for the international competition. Indie filmmaker Tanwarin Sukhapisit, maker of this year's "egg" introduction reel that was played before each program, presented the best actor award.
Here's the list of awards:
R.D. Pestonji Award (best short film from general individuals)
- Winner: Cherie is Korean-Thai by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit
- Runner-up: Own by Wiwat Lertwiwatwongsa
- Runner-up: In Space by Visra Vichit-Vadakan
- Special mention: Where Can I Find Seripap? by Pass Patthanakumjon
R.D. Pestonji Award International Competition
- Winner: Vilay by Umesh Kulkarni (India)
- Special mention: Leerfahrt by Matis Burkhardt (Germany)
- Special mention: Below the Blue (Tiefensucht) by Florian Fessl (Austria)
White Elephant Award (best short by undergraduate student)
- Winner: Fabricative by Panapan Tangsomboon
- Runner-up: On the Road by Thepmanee Kittithawornkul
- Runner-up: The Circle by Alongkot Duangraksa
- Special mention: Grocery, My Love by Meathus Sirinawin
- Special mention: Nice to Meet You by Jakkarin Thepvong
- Special mention: It's Hard to Say How I Love You, Captain Hook by Napat Treepalawisetkun
Special White Elephant (best short from students 18 years old and younger)
- Winner: Damned Life of Yoi by Teerath Wangwisarn
- Runner-up: Men & Women by Teerath Wangwisarn
- Runner-up: Sweet Monologue by Kawitsara Phannapanukul
- Special mention: Running by Nipaporn Khansingh and Pimpetch Pimthon
- Special mention: Dream by Phumrapee Sae-tang
- Special mention: Repeat Occurrence by Veerayoot Gajangsri and Napat Tangsanga
Duke Award (best documentary, named after Prince Sanbassatra, the "Father of Thai Film")
- Winner: Remembrance by Sittiporn Racha
- Runner-up: Shades of Shadow: Saga from the Jungle, Stranger at Khun Yuam by Suporn Shoosongdej
- Runner-up: Somwang 2553 by Norachai Kajchapanont
- Special Mention: Dear Brothers & Sisters by Reality Filmmaker
Payut Ngaokrachan Award (best animation)
- Winner: Aspiration by Chakraphun Suebsan
- Runner-up: The Parallel Age by Thapat Kijrujipark
- Runner-up: (An)other) by Apasri Titatarn
- Special mention: Online by Sippanon Rodkumtuy
- Special mention: Behind the Seawall by Pattaraporn Werasakwong
- Special mention: Hypnotize by Nathawut Praphong
Vichitmatra Award (for "distinctive achievements in filmmaking")
- Grocery, My Love by Meathus Sirinawin
- Filmnimatique by Nuttanai Lertpreechapakdee
- Winter Reminiscene by Thanatphan Palakawong na Ayutthaya
- Behind the Wall by Pattaraporn Werasakwong
Pirabkhao Award (for best social-message film)
- Pre-Attitude by Panu Saeng-Xuto
- Suphatra Treepalawisetkun in It's Hard to Say How I Love You, Captain Hook
Kodak Film School Competition (for the best cinematography shot on Kodak Film)
- Butterfly Wheel by Tanika Janejessda
Popular Vote (results of audience ballots)
- Online by Sippanon Rodkumtuy