|Best actress winner Penpak Sirikul and best actor winner Noi Sukosol at the 10th Kom Chad Luek Awards, February 20, 2013, Bangkok. Nation photo by Thanis Sudto.|
While independent films have been largely shut out of the Thai film industry's big award show this year, the 10th Kom Chad Luek Awards on Wednesday night give its top film prizes to the indie features 36 and P-047.
Writer-director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, who directed and produced 36 with support from some of his various employers, including film studio GTH and Aditya Assarat's Pop Pictures, won Best Picture as well as Best Screenplay. His experimental effort is comprised of 36 static camera setups that explore the fragmented memories of a film company location scout's relationship with an art director. Self-released by Nawapol in a limited theatrical run around Thailand last year, playing many sold-out shows, 36 won the New Currents Award at last year's Busan film festival, the New Talent Award in Hong Kong, best director and Cinemanila and also recently screened in Rotterdam.
Kongdej Jaturanrasmee won best director for P-047 (Tae Peang Phu Deaw, แต่เพียงผู้เดียว), an offbeat comedy-drama about a locksmith who is recruited by a subversive writer to break into apartments and "borrow" the lives of others. The veteran writer-director's first indie feature, P-047 premiered as a last-minute selection at the 2011 Venice film festival and screened at several other festivals. It was released last year in a limited run in Bangkok, where it had sold-out shows thanks to the cult status of lead actor, rock musician Apichai Tragoolpadetgrai, who was a Kom Chad Luek nominee for best actor.
The Kom Chad Luek Awards, put on by the mass-media daily newspaper of Nation Multimedia, also honor TV and music. Apichai won Song of the Year and best male vocal artist while his co-star in P-047, Parinya Kwamwongwan, was named best supporting actor.
Best actor went to Krissada "Noi" Sukosol Clapp for his lead role in the 1960s gangster drama Antapal (อันธพาล), while best actress went to Penpak Sirikul for her portrayal of an aging post-op transgender woman in It Gets Better (ไม่ได้ขอให้มารั, Mai Dai Kor Hai Ma Rak).
Both Noi and Penpak are also best-acting nominees for the industry's Subhanahongsa Awards, though Penpak is nominated for her role in the sentimental three-segment drama Home Khwam Rak Khwam Sook Khwam Songjam (Home ความรัก ความสุข ความทรงจำ).
Another Subhanahongsa nominee, Piyathida Worramusik, won Best Supporting Actress for the family drama Together Wan Tee Rak (Together วันที่รัก).
Other nominees for the Kom Chad Luek Awards included another indie fixture from the festival circuit that was ignored by the Subhanahongsas, Wichanon Sumumjarn's In April the Following Year, There was a Fire (สิ้นเมษาฝนตกมาปรอยปรอย, Sin Maysar Fon Tok Ma Proi Proi). It was up for best picture and best director.
Other best picture and best director nominees were P-047, Tanwarin Sukkhapisit's It Gets Better and Chookiat Sakveerakul's Home.