Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wonderful Town, The 8th Day and Ong-Bak 2 top nominees for Subhanahongsa Awards

Among the surprises in the crop of nominees for the 2008 Subhanahongsa Awards are a couple of indie films, with Wonderful Town and The 8th Day tied as the leading nominees, each named in eight categories.

Also surprising: the troubled and polarizing Ong-Bak 2 is nominated for eight awards in seven categories, including best actor for Tony Jaa.

Aditya Assarat is among the nominees for best director and best screenplay for Wonderful Town, which is also named one of the best pictures, and is named for cinematography, sound, score and art direction.

Wasana Chalakorn, who played a mentally disturbed old woman in the indie black-and-white psychological thriller The 8th Day is up for best actress, and her co-stars, Thanavet Siriwattanakul, is up for best actor and young Jennie Oprasert is a best supporting actress nominee. The 8th Day also scores nominations for cinematography, editing, score, art direction and make-up.

Dul Yaambunying, who played the menacing gangster brother in Wonderful Town, is up for supporting actor honors.

Another leading nominee is Happy Birthday with seven nods, including best picture, best director for Pongpat Wachirabunjong, best actress for Chayanan Manomaisantiphab and best actor for Ananda Everingham (he was in three other Thai movies last year -- Memory, The Coffin and Queens of Langkasuka, all listed below -- but was only nominated for Happy Birthday).

Also, Kongdej Jaturanrasamee earns two nods for best-screenplay -- for Happy Birthday and his own film, the loopy romance Handle Me With Care, which is up for five awards, also including best picture, best director and best actor (Kiatkamol Latha).

Other top nominees include Yuthlert Sippapak's weepy romance Rak/Sam/Sao with six nominations, including best picture, best director, best screenplay and best actor (Pae Arak) and actress (Ratchawin Wongviriya, the short-haired one). The GTH horror anthology 4bia has four nominations, including best picture and best screenplay.

The choice of Tony Jaa for best actor is surprising because of the incredible lack of range he showed in his role -- his vengeful character was all angry, all the time. But it's his first nomination for the Subhanahongsa, and he had an epic struggle to make his film, so maybe the awards body thought he was due some recognition. The more expressive Natdanai Kongthong, who played Jaa's character as a boy, earns a best-supporting actor nod.

Sahamongkol's "sister" action feature, Chocolate is getting recognition too. "Jeeja" Yanin Vismitananda is nominated as best actress for her film debut, and her mother in the film, Amara Sripong, is among the best-supporting-actress nominees.

This is also unusual, I think, because ordinarily the awards eschew action-genre movies in favor of romantic dramas and big historical epics. So not only indies, but action movies are gaining legitimacy in the industry's eyes.

Ong-Bak 2 has another nominee in the supporting-actor category -- veteran actor Sorapong Chatree. He's a favorite for the prize since he's nominated twice -- for his turn as a cud-chewing bandit leader in Ong-Bak 2 and as a dual-personality wizard hermit in Queens of the Langkasuka.

There are many, many awards shows for the entertainment industry in Thailand -- so many that I lose track of them all. But it's the Subhanahongsa Awards that are recognized as "the Thai Oscars". Also known as the Thailand National Film Awards, they are given by the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand, the same group that makes Thailand's submission to the Academy Awards.

Ordinarily, the awards are very focused on the industry, so the inclusion of the indies Wonderful Town and The 8th Day is a step towards recognizing the true breadth and diversity of Thai cinema.

Here's the complete list of nominees:

Best Picture
  • Handle Me With Care (Kod)
  • Rak/Sam/Sao (The Last Moment)
  • 4Bia (See Phrang)
  • Happy Birthday
  • Wonderful Town

Best Director
  • Kongdej Jaturanrasami (Handle Me With Care)
  • Pongpat Wachirabunjong (Happy Birthday)
  • Yuthlert Sippapak (Rak/Sam/Sao)
  • Kittikorn Leosirikul (Dream Team)
  • Aditya Assarat (Wonderful Town)

Best Actor
  • Kiatkamol Latha (Handle Me With Care)
  • "Tony Jaa" Phanom Yeerum (Ong-Bak 2)
  • Arak Amornsupasiri (Rak/Sam/Sao)
  • Ananda Everingham (Happy Birthday)
  • Thanavet Siriwattanakul (The 8th Day)

Best Actress
  • Ratchawin Wongviriya (Rak/Sam/Sao)
  • Mai Charoenpura (Memory or Rak Lorn)
  • Chayanan Manomaisantiphab (Happy Birthday)
  • Yanin Vismitananda (Chocolate)
  • Wasana Chalakorn (The 8th Day)

Best Supporting Actor
  • Sun Khumpirannon (Memory)
  • Sorapong Chatree (Queens of Langkasuka and Ong-Bak 2)
  • Natdanai Kongthong (Ong Bak 2)
  • Dul Yaambunying (Wonderful Town)

Best Supporting Actress
  • Amara Sripong (Chocolate )
  • Focus Jeerakul (Hormones or Pidterm Yai Huajai Wawun)
  • "Cris" Sirin Horwang (E-Tim Tai Nae)
  • Siraphan Wattanajinda (Where the Miracle Happens or Nuengjai Diaw Kan))
  • Jennie Oprasert (The 8th Day)

Best Screenplay
  • Kongdej Jaturanrasamee (Handle Me With Care and Happy Birthday)
  • Yuthlert Sippapak (Rak/Sam/Sao)
  • Aditaya Assarat (Wonderful Town)
  • GTH team (4Bia)

Best Cinematography
  • The Coffin (Long Tor Tai)
  • Where the Miracle Happens
  • Happy Birthday
  • Wonderful Town
  • The 8th Day

Best Editing
  • Chocolate
  • 4Bia
  • The Coffin
  • Ong-Bak 2
  • The 8th Day

Best Sound
  • Queens of Langkasuka
  • Ong-Bak 2
  • The Coffin
  • Nak
  • Wonderful Town

Best Song
  • "Jab Mue Chan" (Handle Me With Care)
  • "Klom Luk" (Nak)
  • "Fun Waan Eye Joob" (4 Romances)
  • "Yang Noi" (Hormones)
Best Score
  • The 8th Day
  • Nak
  • Queens of Langkasuka
  • Happy Birthday
  • Wonderful Town
Best Art Direction
  • Queens of Langkasuka
  • Ong-Bak 2
  • Chocolate
  • Wonderful Town
  • The 8th Day
Best Costume Design
  • Queens of Langkasuka
  • Ong-Bak 2
  • E-Tim Tai Nae
  • Rak/Sam/Sao
  • Hormones

Best Make-up
  • Ong-Bak 2
  • Queens of Langkasuka
  • Art of the Devil 3 (Long Khong 2)
  • The 8th Day
  • Coming Soon (Programme Na Winyarn Arkhad)

Best Visual Effects

There will also be a new special honor award this year, with archivist Dome Sukwong, founder of National Film Archive, as its first recipient.

The awards ceremony takes place on February 22 at Thailand Cultural Centre.

(Via Daily Xpress)


  1. This is a good blog. I'd like to link this blog to mine, if that's alright with you.

    Feb 22 is also the day of the Oscars... :)

  2. Thank you. That's rather cute of FNFAT to hold their ceremony on the same date as the Oscars. But because of the international dateline, the Suphanahongse Awards will be aired first.


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