The GDH caper sweeps Thailand's answer to the Oscars, picking up 12 of the 15 awards on offer
THERE WAS little surprise but plenty of applause on Sunday night as “Chalard Games Goeng” (“Bad
Genius”), last year’s hit movie from GDH about a group of top students who plan to get rich by cheating in
exams, swept the Subhanahongsa national film awards, picking up 12 of the coveted statues including best
picture, director, screenplay, actor, actress and supporting actor.
“I would like to thank the jury, the film federation, my crew and my actors and especially my family. I was a
bad student when I was young but I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker even when I was at secondary
school. My parents never forced me to study harder but instead gave me the freedom and support to fulfil
my dreams,” said an emotional Nattawut Poonpiriya, who directed the global smash.
“I also want to thank Jira Maligool in giving me the chance to earn work experience and would say to anyone
who has dreams like me, believe in what you choose and then the opportunity will come to you just as it did
The film triumphed against even the hottest nominees, which included the independent hit “Die Tomorrow”
by director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit. The film had earned 12 nominations in 11 categories but still went
home empty handed.
Indeed, the only award for which “Bad Genius” was not nominated was best song. That went, much as
expected, to “Thai Baan The Series” – a regional and low-budget production set in the Thailand’s Northeast
for the song “Thod Wela Jeb”.
Another GDH film, the horror drama “Phuan Thee Raluek” (“The Promise”) received 11 nominations and won
two awards, for best visual effects and the Popular Award, Actress for its star Namthip Jongratchatawibun.
Sunny Suwanmethanont took home the Popular Actor prize, but lost out for both best actor and best
supporting actor, those awards going to “Bad Genius” rising star Chanon Santinatornkul and veteran
singer/actor Thaneth Warakulnukroh. Thaneth, who was also nominated for best actor for his role in the
Thailand-Singapore movie “Pop-Aye”, said the award confirmed he had made the right decision in making a
comeback after a hiatus of almost 30 years.
“I am astonished and delighted to have won,” he told the audience, adding that he started his career as an
actor and not, as many assume, a singer and that he won an award way back when for his role in the
popular sit-com “Vic 07”.
Actress Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying of “Bad Genius” was a shoo-in for best actress won plenty of
admiring glances for her chic suit and thanked her co-stars, directors, family and fan club for all their support.
Chutimon is also up for the Best Newcomer prize at the Asian Movie awards taking place in Macau this
Saturday. Another two Thais also have nominations: actor Sukollawat Kanaros for his role in “Malila” (“The
Farewell Flower”) and Anucha Boonyawatana (“Malila”) for best new director.
Chanon was slightly less poised on stage than his co-star, his emotion evident as he thanked his
parents for supporting his career choice.
“We are not a family that finds it easy to express our feelings but tonight I want to say out loud that I love
you and hope you’ll be at my side as I reach my dreams.”
Young actress Ploy Sornarin picked up Best Supporting Actress for her role in Sahamongkol Film’s coming-of
-age horror drama “Siam Square”.
“I would like to thank everyone and Sahamongkol Film for casting me in so many projects,” said the actress
who has also starred in other Sahamongkol Film outings including “Arbat” and “Luk Thung Signature”.
And despite its failure to please at the box office, horror-comedy “Premika Paa Rab” from Transformation
Films went home with Best Makeup Effects.
Veteran actor Sorrapong Chatree was recognised with the lifetime achievement award.
“Fifty years ago, I began working in this industry carrying an umbrella for an actor,” laughed the 67-year-old
actor, who played in more than 500 movies through his acting career.
Index Organiser was in charge of organising this year’s ceremony at the Thailand Cultural Centre and did a
great job, with the entire event running smoothly.
Panisara Arayaskul and Niti “Pompam” Chaichitatorn from the popular GMM 25 show “Talk Ka Toey Tonight”
hosted the show with hilarious, witty and always polite dialogue and did much to lift the spirits of the
audience. In line with the theme “Phli Bai” – turning over a new leaf – the ceremony opened with a heart-
warming musical show by mother-daughter actresses Noi and Ratha “Yaya Ying” Pho-ngam.
Winai Phanthurat joined with Thanachai “Pod Moderndog” Ujjin to perform “Chuang Thee Dee Thee Sud”
and received loud applause as did Tachaya “Keng The Voice” Pathumwan and Pongkul “Pop” Suebsueng for
their lively show.
If any criticism needs to be made, it was the brevity of the ceremony and its decision to only allow time for
the major award winners to make speeches. The others, is the so-called minor or production categories,
were merely invited to go up to receive their awards. Perhaps that’s why so many were no shows and “Bad
Genius” director Nattawut was pushed into representing them.
Another change, which added to the short duration of the show, was having the hosts announce the post
production awards in place of invited actors or filmmakers.
And while the organisers should set a time for the length of speeches and allow all the nominated songs to
be performed, at least this year we didn’t have to suffer from a misplaced presentation by the Electronic
Transactions Development Agency, which presumably is no longer a major sponsor.
And the awards go to...
Best Picture: “Chalard Games Gong” (“Bad Genius”), GDH 559
Best Director: “Bad Genius”, Nattawut Poonpiriya
Best Actor: “Bad Genius”, Chanon Santinatornkul
Best Actress: “Bad Genius”, Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying
Best Supporting Actor: “Bad Genius”, Thaneth Warakulnukroh
Best Supporting Actress: “Siam Square”: Ploy Sornarin
Best Screenplay: “Bad Genius”, Nattawut Poonpiriya, Taneeda Hantaweewatana and Vasudhorn Piyaromna
Best Cinematography: “Bad Genius”, Phaklao Jiraungkoonkun
Best Film Editing: “Bad Genius”, Chonlasit Upanigkit
Best Art Direction: “Bad Genius”, Patchara Lertkai
Best Original Score, “Bad Genius”: Hualampong Riddim
Best Original Song: “Thai Baan The Series”, “Thod Wela Jeb” by Boy Phanomphrai
Best Recording and Sound Mixing: “Bad Genius”: Naruebet Piamyai and Kantana Sound Studio
Best Make Up Effects: “Premika Paa Rab”, Methapan Pitithanyapat,
Best Costume Design: “Bad Genius”, Pawares Ruang-aram
Best Visual Effects: “The Promise”: Riff Studio and Fat Cat Company
Lifetime Achievement Award: Sorapong Chatree