15th World Film Festival of Bangkok wraps up with Apichatpong bagging Victor Award
Bangkok’s 15th World Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday evening with a word of advice from one of Thailand’s star independent filmmakers, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. While receiving the Kriengsak “Victor” Silakong Award, the filmmaker called on his peers to “never give up”.
The award was created in memory of Kriengsak “Victor” Silakong, the film festival’s long-time director who died unexpectedly on March 27 this year.
While receiving the honour, Apichatpong applauded Kriengsak for his work in making the World Film Festival a showcase for emerging filmmakers from across the world.
Remembering Kriengsak for his love for life, Apichatpong called on the audience to observe a minute of silence in his honour.
He then shared his thoughts on the 25 years he has spent in the film industry.
“So far, I honestly don’t know why I make films. To all the other filmmakers here, do you know why you make films? I only know that for me, it’s not about telling a story, but connecting to this vast world of people,” he said. “Tonight this award reminds us to keep asking questions and to appreciate the mystery of this journey.”
Recounting a disparaging remark a senior government official made some 15 years ago that nobody would want to see his films, Apichatpong gleefully said: “The fact is I’m still here."
"What I want to tell all filmmakers is please don’t give up. I’m not saying this to be spiteful, but do not give in to fear or authority. We all contribute to the grand conversation of what a filmmaker can do, so keep on recording.”
Meanwhile, Lithuania’s Edvinas Puksta, who was one of the four jurors, spoke about the 21 films in the running for the Lotus Award. He said each of the 21 films was excellent in its own category, and choosing the winners was very difficult. This is why, he said, the jury unanimously decided to hand out seven jury prizes instead of three.
Serbian directors Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluščević, who jointly won the Lotus Award for Best Director for their fantasy drama “Have You Seen This Woman”, said they were surprised they won but were glad their message had been heard.
Their film, they said, was not just about a middle-aged woman’s internal and external journey, it was also about discovering our personal identities.
In his closing speech, film producer Donsaron Kovitvanitcha, who oversaw the festival this year, thanked everybody for making the event a success and promised to offer an even better line-up next year.
The 10-day World Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday at SF Cinema in CentralWorld with the handing out of eight awards.
Considered Southeast Asia’s largest film festival, the 15th edition returned after five years under the “Return to Cinema” theme. It showcased 61 top films, including 20 experimental films, from 51 countries including France, Spain, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Ukraine, Brazil, Croatia, Poland, Tunisia, Serbia, and even Mongolia.
The World Film Festival of Bangkok is run by The Nation with support from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Culture Ministry, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Thai Media Fund and the Tourism and Authority of Thailand.
2022 World Film Festival Award winners
Kriengsak Silakong Award: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Best Film: “Klondike” by Maryna Er Gorbach (Ukraine)
Best Director: Dušan Zorić and Matija Gluščević, “Have You Seen This Woman” (Serbia)
Grand Jury Prize: “Scala” by Ananta Thitanat (Thailand)
Jury Prize for Best Screenplay:
“Victim” – Written by Jakub Midvecky, directed by Michal Blasko (Slovakia)
“Stonewalling” – Written and directed by Huang Ji and Ryuji Otsuka (China)
Jury Prize for Best Ensemble
“Joyland” – Directed by Saim Sadiq (Pakistan)
Jury Prize for Technical Achievement for Cinematography
“Autobiography” – Directed by Makbul Mubarak (Indonesia)