Short Film Transmissions of Unwanted Pasts Now Available Online

Anyone can now watch my short film, Transmissions of Unwanted Pasts, here.

The film premiered at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris on February 7th, 2019. It was part of the festival “KEMBARA: Adventures in the Artistic Landscape of South East Asia” curated by Tash Aw. I am grateful for the support from Tash and the institute.

The film was also an official selection at four international film festivals and won the February 2019 Best Sci-fi Short and Best Actress (for Kamolsuang Aksharanugraha) awards at the Global Film Festival Awards in Los Angeles.

Thanks to Moscow Shorts International Film FestivalIndependent Talents International Film FestivalAround Films International Film Festival AmsterdamWeird Wednesday, and of course Global Film Festival Awards, for watching the film and for the support.

The project could not have been made without the generosity of my old and new friends: brilliant cinematographer Chananun Chotrungroj (who shot my first feature, “Motel Mist”), Chantana Tiprachart (assistance in all things), Tippawan Roomfour (who introduced me to the wonderful main cast, Kamolsuang Aksharanugraha and Gandhi​ Wasuvitchayagit), Phil Chapavich Temnitikul (music), Yo Thanissorn and his art team), Monkum Khukhuntin, 9HQ design (editing and effects), Lee Chatametikool and his White Light Post team (post-production), Rit Kalayanamitr (sound design), Anuwat Amnajkasem (production manager), and many more.

Please enjoy!

Bangkok Breaking Official Poster | Teaser | Release Date

I am excited to share the latest updates on Bangkok Breaking มหานครเมืองลวง, the new Thai Netflix series on which I had the opportunity to work as executive producer and co-writer! The six-episode crime thriller will be available in 190 countries on September 23rd, 2021. I joined the online press event to announce the release date, share the first teaser, and give interviews a few days ago, along with our director, Kongkiat Khomsiri, and talented lead actors, Sushar Manaying and Weir Sukollawat Kanaros. It was such a thrill to be able to finally start talking about what we’ve been working on over the past year.

Here is the official poster.

Here is the first teaser:

Can’t wait to watch Bangkok Breaking มหานครเมืองลวง with everyone on September 23rd! See you then.

Laureate of the 2021 Fukuoka Prize (Arts and Culture)

It is a great honor to be given the 2021 Arts and Culture Fukuoka Prize. I am honestly baffled by this, as I never think of what I do as worthy of any prestigious praise.

I am the ninth Thai recipient of the award, and completely amazed to find myself among such distinguished names as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Nidhi Eoseewong, Pasuk Phongpaichit, Charnvit Kasetsiri. In this class, I am a clown at best, but a proud clown.

This is not a good year to celebrate personal accomplishments, as so many people are struggling and suffering. However, I must express my gratitude to the Fukuoka Prize, for seeing some value in my work, and congratulate Mr. Palagummi Sainath and Prof. Kishimoto Mio for their accomplishment. It is an honor to share the event with them.

I cannot stress enough the fact that I owe everything that’s positive in my career to everyone who has supported my work throughout the years. I am at heart deeply lazy, habitually drawn to silly and frivolous matters; it is only because I feel that my readers and viewers deserve better that I try my best to make things with some substance and continue to try. I hope sometimes I succeed at offering moments of delight to those who give me a chance.

Please find my expression of gratitude (in Thai with Japanese subtitles) on the Fukuoka Prize YouTube channel.

Read more about the 2021 Fukuoka Prize laureates on the Fukuoka Prize official website. Details about the online ceremony (September 29) and the laureates’ public lectures should be available on the website.

Thank you.

Showrunner of Netflix’s Second Thai Original Series BANGKOK BREAKING

I am currently working on Netflix’s second Thai original series (The Stranded was the first) entitled Bangkok Breaking. Obviously, this is an exciting experience and a wonderful opportunity in itself, but for me it’s especially thrilling for the fact that I get to see so many incredible Thai professionals at work. In terms of talents, the team is made up of crème de la crème in the Thai film industry. I am probably the least experienced in the gang, and as showrunner/executive producer I feel humbled by it all. I’ve been learning a lot from my colleagues and I genuinely feel we have very strong work in our hands so far.

I can’t say much more, since we are still in production, but here’s the official press release from Netflix about Bangkok Breaking:

BANGKOK, 26 October, 2020 —  Netflix, the world’s leading streaming entertainment service, today announced its second Thai original series – Bangkok Breaking. The series will debut exclusively on Netflix with Prabda Yoon (Someone from NowhereInvisible WavesLast Life in the Universe) as executive producer and Kongkiat Komesiri (SliceMuay Thai FighterKhunpan) as director.

Bangkok Breaking is a fast-paced action-thriller drama centered around the wild world of Bangkok’s road rescue services and Wanchai who is newly arrived in Bangkok and must unravel a city-wide conspiracy alongside a young, upstart journalist.“I follow and enjoy many Netflix movies and series. That’s why I am excited to work with Netflix directly, but what I’m most excited about is taking part in showcasing Thai talent and creativity on a global platform. The opportunity to work with so many skilled and experienced Thai people from the industry is really impressive; and Netflix partnering with Thai producers can only benefit our work and inspire the creative community,” said showrunner and executive producer Prabda Yoon. 

“Bangkok Breaking is a series that serves all tastes, with action, excitement, drama and romance, appealing to a wide audience across Asia and, I hope, internationally. With the full support of Netflix we can realise our vision for this series; I am excited, honored and incredibly proud to work with a global platform like Netflix. I’ve amassed over 20 years of experience in film making, collecting every technique for this moment, and today I have the opportunity  to show that Thai content has what it takes to capture the interest of audiences around the world. I promise to give my absolute best to delight our audience,” said director Kongkiat Komesiri.

Bangkok Breaking gripped us the instant we read the script. Our second Thai original is a special story that Thai audiences will truly enjoy, providing a unique point of view of life in one of the world’s best known and loved cities. We’re excited to support more great stories from this vibrant and very talented community,” said Myleeta Aga, Director of Content for Southeast Asia and Australia  at Netflix.

This action-thriller drama will be produced by Production Playground. Create Asia 360’s Rehan Malik and Clayton Fitts co-created the series and will executive produce.

All 6 episodes of Bangkok Breaking will premiere exclusively on Netflix in 2021 to its members in over 190 countries.

About Bangkok Breaking Bangkok Breaking is a gripping, character-driven drama centred on Wanchai, who moves to Bangkok to save his family from poverty. Following in his brother’s footsteps, Wanchai joins a local ambulance foundation and is quickly pulled into the mysterious high-stakes world of the rescue services. Desperate for justice and answers, Wanchai realises he must unravel a city-wide conspiracy with the help of a determined female journalist.

There have been and will be challenges in making this series, especially because of the ongoing pandemic we’re all facing, but I am hopeful and I very much look forward to sharing Bangkok Breaking with the world later this year.

See the Thai report and some more photos of the cast on the day of the official opening ceremony here.

Two New Stories Translated to Japanese

My most recent short stories, เสียงซ้ำ (Same Song) and เพราะออกแบบมาให้ใช้แล้วทิ้ง (Designed To Be Disposable), have been translated to Japanese by Sho Fukutomi. They were published together as one chapbook for the recent Tokyo Virtual Art Book Fair (Nov 16-23, 2020) and sold at the Soi Books stand.

If you can read Japanese and are interested in the chapbook, I believe you can contact Sho for details.

เพราะออกแบบมาให้ใช้แล้วทิ้ง เรื่องสั้นใน a day ISSUE 241

นิตยสาร a day ฉบับที่ 241 เป็นฉบับเรื่องสั้น มีผลงานของนักเขียนหลายคน หนึ่งในนั้นคือเรื่องของผม ชื่อ เพราะออกแบบมาให้ใช้แล้วทิ้ง ซึ่งได้วัตถุดิบจากประสบการณ์สมัยผมเข้าฝึกในค่ายทหารเกณฑ์ เป็นเรื่องที่คาใจและอยากเขียนถึงมายี่สิบปีแล้ว ในที่สุดก็ได้เขียนออกมา (อิงความจริง 90%)

ถึงจะไม่ได้เขียนเรื่องสั้นอย่างสม่ำเสมอมานาน แต่ที่จริงก็ยังมีโอกาสเขียนอยู่เรื่อยๆ แค่กระจัดกระจายไปตรงโน้นตรงนี้ มีคนชวนเขียนเป็นระยะๆ และยังสนุกกับการเขียนทุกครั้งที่ได้เขียน

ขอบคุณ a day ที่ชวนครับ

ใครสนใจ a day เล่มนี้ อ่านรายละเอียดและสั่งซื้อได้ที่นี่ครับ

Galveias by José Luís Peixoto in Thai

I was introduced to José Luís Peixoto at a riverside hotel in Bangkok and we spoke over a buffet lunch. (The first personal thing I learned about Peixoto was that he’s crazy for buffets.)

There was a mutual connection between us right away, not only because of the obvious facts that we are both writers from the same generation, but because we seem to share a similar sense of wanderlust. Peixoto had been to Thailand before and even written a book about it. I had yet to visit Portugal, but I met him at a time when Portugal was for some reason constantly on my mind. I had for a long time romanticized about Portugal, particularly Lisbon, mostly by way of Fernando Pessoa’s writings, but it always felt like a such a faraway land, a place I might never have a chance to see for myself in this lifetime. Then I started to have a strong yearning to go there, just shortly before Peixoto turned up.

The first time I ever visited Portugal was in 2018, and it happened because of Peixoto’s recommendation. I participated in a literary festival that was organized as one of the healing programs for the communities that were devastated by the 2017 wildfires in central Portugal. It was an incredible opportunity, because I got to see much more of Portugal than I would’ve been able to as a tourist. The festival took me to rural parts of the country, very small towns and provincial communities. I was probably the first Thai person ever to set foot in many of those places. To put it another way, I had the chance to see and feel what Galveias would be like on my very first trip to Portugal.

Galveias is Peixoto’s hometown. When we discussed the possibility of translating his work into Thai, Peixoto suggested Galveias without hesitation. From what I gather, it’s not his most popular book in Portugal, but he wants his foreign readers to know what Portuguese culture in a place like Galveias is like, rather than to present yet again the already famous cities like Lisbon and Porto. To be honest, I didn’t really understand his choice until I was finally able to read Galveias. It’s an honest and charming book about Portugal that’s hard to come by in other languages. Thai people can easily find reading materials about Lisbon or Porto, but Galveias offers a rare glimpse into the heart of Portugal that has never been available to the Thai readers before. As editor, designer and publisher, I am proud to play a small role in bringing this book to Thailand.

Many thanks to José Luís Peixoto, the Embassy of Portugal in Bangkok, and the translation grant from The General Directorate for Book, Archives and Libraries (DGLAB) of Portugal’s Ministry of Culture for making this possible.

เขียนโดย โจเซ ลูอิส เปโชตู
แปลโดย ลัลน์ลลิต สมานุหัตถ์
จากหนังสือ Galveias
พิมพ์ครั้งที่ 1 ตุลาคม 2563 (416 หน้า)

สนใจสั่งซื้อ เหตุเกิดที่กัลไวอัช หรืออ่านรายละเอียดเพิ่มเติมได้ที่เว็บไซต์ไต้ฝุ่นสตูดิโอ
หรือที่ร้านไต้ฝุ่นสตูดิโอใน Shopee ได้เลยครับ

Basement Moon Hand-Pulled Screen Print

I designed two covers for my novel Basement Moon (published in 2018), one for the regular edition and one as a jacket for the special, pre-order edition. The good people at the Archivist, the printing studio I’ve worked with many times, took on the task of turning the latter into a hand-pulled screen print edition.

In hindsight, the task was much more difficult than they’d anticipated. When they finally finished, during the two-month lockdown in Thailand, they told me that the process of printing this work was like a spiritual journey they persevered in tears.

I had the much easier task of inspection and signing the prints once they were done. Seventeen made the final batch. I was genuinely in awe of how beautiful and rich the colors were when I first saw the result. In a perverse way, I’m glad this was so hard to make.

If you are interested to learn more about the print, please visit the Archivist.

Photo by The Archivist
Photo by The Archivist

Dissolution of Light, My New Story Published in English

The UK independent publisher, Platypus Press, has just published my story “Dissolution of Light” (translated from the Thai story, แสงสลาย, by Mui Poopuksakul) in their “Shorts” (small digital fictions) catalog. This is a relatively recent story in comparison to the stories in both of my previously translated and published collections, “The Sad Part Was” and “Moving Parts”. It was written in Kyoto, then first published as a chapbook in Thailand in 2009. I remember feeling excited after finishing the manuscript, as I felt I was moving toward a new direction with it creatively. It’s still one of the “older” stories I’m proud of.

The story revolves around a middle-aged man who repairs analog TV sets for a living. He owns a small shop in a narrow soi in Bangkok. Such shops can still be found today. I am from the generation in which the analog TV was an exciting new technology, and its global influence coincided with Thailand’s entrance into its first era of successful authoritarian capitalism. Arguably, we, the Thais, are still living in a similar condition, only now digital technology leads the way. In my opinion, the beginning of that era (my childhood years) shaped modern Thai culture. “Dissolution of Light” partly deals with that idea.

“Dissolution of Light” is just $1.25 (ePub), and the Shorts catalog has works by many talented writers. Please check it out.

Twenty Years of Probability

In 2000, ความน่าจะเป็น, or Probability, was my second published book. I had been back in Thailand for about three years, had completed my military service (the main reason that brought me back), and had had one story collection published. It was also a story collection, thirteen in all, ten of which were previously printed in a bimonthly magazine called Soodsubda (Weekend). My first published book (entitled Right-angled City) was a surprise hit but this collection did even better. It had already gone through multiple print runs when it was awarded the S.E.A. Write in 2002. It was the S.E.A. Write, however, that sealed its fate.

ความน่าจะเป็น has not been out of print since, and this year, in its 41st print run, it turns twenty.

As a writer, I’m probably best known as the author of the stories in this collection, even though I have written many more stories over the years. And because my first book translated into English, The Sad Part Was (Tilted Axis), is made up mostly of these stories, I am now also known for them outside Thailand. While I’m certainly grateful that a body of work I wrote two decades ago is being discovered by people around the world, to me it feels almost as if the new readers travel back in time to find that work. They’re reading something the twenty-seven year old me wrote, not the current me.

It’s entirely possible, of course, that the twenty-seven year old me was a much better writer than the current me. I don’t mean to suggest that I wish I was known more for my recent work. It’s just a strange phenomenon, on a personal level, to have written a book that has managed to achieve a kind of longevity beyond its author’s comprehension.