Friday, March 27, 2015

Bangkok Critics award Tukkae Rak Pang Mak

Producer Adirek "Uncle" Watleela takes the microphone to accept the best film award for Tukkae Rak Pang Mak. He also took the stage to accept awards for his friend Yuthlert Sippapak. Nation photo by Tatchadon Panyaphanitkul.

The nostalgic romantic comedy Tukkae Rak Pang Mak (Chiang Khan Story) took the top prizes at the 23rd Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards (ชมรมวิจารณ์บันเทิง) on Wednesday night, winning trophies for Best Film, director, screenplay and acting.

While writer-director Yuthlert Sippapak wasn't on hand to accept his awards, the team of producers from the new shingle Transformation Films was there, among them Yuthlert's long-time collaborator, producer Adirek "Uncle" Watleela.

Released last September, Tukkae Rak Pang Mak chronicled the 20 or so years in the rocky romance of childhood friends in Chiang Khan, the rustic town on the Mekong River in Northeast Thailand's Loei province, where Yuthlert calls home. It was the first release from Transformation, which is a partnership between the producers behind the former Film Bangkok marque and Major Cineplex, Thailand's biggest multiplex operator. It performed only modestly at the box office, so the awards haul was welcomed by the Transformation team.

The actor who played Tukkae, Jirayu La-ongmanee, a former child star, repeated his success from the Thai film industry's "Oscars", the Subhanahongsa Awards. He won the prize for best actor for his portrayal of a young filmmaker who is named after a house lizard. He faces an awkward situation when his first screenplay is to be made into a movie, and producers want his former childhood crush to be the star. But she and Tukkae had a big misunderstanding.

Jirayu's co-star Kongkiat Komsiri was named best supporting actor for his turn as Tukkae's level-headed best friend. Though Kongkiat has appeared on screen before, he's better known as a director of gritty movies like Slice and Muay Thai Chaiya. Hopefully his next one, the historical action drama Khun Pan (ขุน พันธ์ ), will actually be released this year.

Another big winner was Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit's The Master, a documentary about the enigmatic Bangkok movie pirate Mr. Van, whose bootleg videos provided a generation of Thai filmmakers and critics with an education in world cinema in the days before bitorrent downloads. A colorful array of prominent directors and movie critics appear in the film, sharing their memories of Van VDO in talking-head interviews against a simple backdrop. It was named best documentary and was also awarded for film editing.

Another documentary, Nontawat Numbenchapol's By the River, about a Karen village left devastated by lead mining, won for its original score by Karen musicians.

And the GTH studio's hit romantic drama The Teacher's Diary (คิดถึงวิทยา, Kid Tueng Wittaya) took two prizes, for cinematography and art direction.

With nods in nearly every category, the leading nominee was Lee Chatametikool's 1997-set drama Concrete Clouds (ภวังค์รัก, Phawang Rak), which took the top prizes at the Subhanahongsa Awards. At the Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards, it ended up with just one trophy, for best supporting actress for Apinya Sakuljaroensuk.

Lee was also among the nominees for the Critics Young Filmmaker Awards, which were introduced last year. Perhaps the Bangkok Critics were confused, since Concrete Clouds was Lee's first feature as a director, and while he's still a relatively young man, he's been overseeing award-winning editing and post-production for indie and commercial features in Bangkok for more than a decade.

Other Young Filmmaker nominees included Vorakorn Ruetaivanichkul, director of Mother, Chonlasit Upanigkit, director of W., and Krisada Tipchaimeta who made Somboon, all first features from rookie filmmakers. The prize went to Uten Sririvi and Jinnaphat Ladarat, who made the indie country comedy Phoobao Thai Baan E-San Indy (ผู้บ่าวไทบ้าน อีสานอินดี้, or simply PBTB), which caused something of a stir when it was first turned down by Bangkok multiplex operators but became a box-office hit in Thailand's rural Northeast.

There's more on the ceremony in a story in The Nation today.

  • Best Film: Tukkae Rak Pang Mak (Chiang Khan Story).
  • Director: Yuthlert Sippapak, Chiang Khan Story
  • Screenplay: Yuthlert Sippapak, Chiang Khan Love Story
  • Actor: Jirayu La-ongmanee, Chiang Khan Story
  • Actress: Sucha Manaying, The Couple (รัก ลวง หลอน, Rak Luang Lon)
  • Supporting actor: Kongkiat Komesiri,  Chiang Khan Story
  • Supporting actress: Apinya Sakuljaroensuk, Concrete Clouds
  • Cinematography: Narupon Chokkanapitak, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Film editing: Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, The Master
  • Original song: “Jaikhwam Samkhan” by the Musketeer, from Rak Mod Kaew (รักหมดแก้ว, a.k.a. Love on the Rock)
  • Original score: By the River
  • Art direction: Akradej Kaewkote, The Teacher’s Diary
  • Best documentary: The Master
  • Young Filmmaker Award: Uten Sririvi, Jinnaphat Ladarat, Phoobao Thai Baan: E-San Indy
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Somsak Techaratanaprasert, producer, and Amara Asavanond, actress
  • Box Office Award: I Fine ... Thank You ... Love You

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