No. 1 movie at the Thai box office, the GTH studio's romantic comedy I Fine ... Thank You ... Love You (ไอฟาย..แต๊งกิ้ว..เลิฟยู้) took two prizes at the 10th Osaka Asian Film Festival.
Director Mez Tharatorn was named most-promising talent while I Fine's lead actress Preechaya "Ice" Pongthananikorn, won the Yakushi Pearl Award for her performance as a well-to-do celebrity English-language tutor who is reluctantly roped into teaching a boorish blue-collar factory worker to speak English so he can get back with his Japanese ex-girlfriend.
GTH stock-company leading man Sunny Suwanmethanon works his eyebrows into overdrive as the sneering greaser-styled biker guy in a factory jumpsuit, who needs schooling so he can join his Japanese girlfriend in the States. She's played by another GTH regular, spunky Japanese former AV idol Sora Aoi.
For Mez, the Osaka honor follows his previous box-office successes with the critically acclaimed Little Comedian and the 2012 box-office smash ATM Er Rak Err.
Formulated for GTH's proven demographic of well-heeled socially networked urban Thais, the fractured-English film came close to breaking Ong-Bak's record for first-day earnings, with 29 million baht. It then proceeded past the Thai industry's benchmark 100-million-baht threshold in its first three days, with the reported opening weekend earnings boosted by a Wednesday opening that coincided with the still-observed December 10 government holiday, Constitution Day. As the year ended, I Fine had hit the 200-million-baht mark and was still going. Like other GTH pictures, it's also proving popular in other Asian territories.
I Fine was also among nominees for the recent Subhanahongsa Awards, with 11 nods, including best film, director, screenplay and acting prizes.
In Osaka, other awards went to Taiwanese director Yee Chee-yen's youth drama Meeting Dr. Sun, which took the Grand Prize and the Audience Award. Film Business Asia has the full rundown.