Article: Top 10 Thai Innovative Directors

Directors are the ones that provide directions for the screenplay and visualize the written scripts. They play an essential role in helping actors/actresses to adopt a fictional character. They are the backbone in the filming and production of cinematic works. In this article, we have listed the top 10 Thai directors. The list is created based on the number of awards, recognition, number of successful projects.

1. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Popularly known as Joe and Jei, this Thai director, the screenwriter, is best known for his projects like Blissfully Yours, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall the past lives, Syndromes, and a century. He is one of the founders of Kick the machine, a production company. He actively takes part in exhibitions like "Tomyab Pladip." He won Japan's Fukuoka Art and Culture prize, Prix Du Jury, Palme d'Or [CannesFilm Festival], and many more.


2. Suthon Petchsuwan

Suthon is a diversified and creative director, best known for broad genres like narration, creativity, comedy. He is the internationally acclaimed commercial director whose best projects include Soken, Unif Green Tea, Twin Lotus Herbal Toothpaste. He worked under the banner of Mum Films and was a part of the top 100 Shoot list of creative people in advertising.  He has worked for Skittles, Y&R, LG and is the most awarded director as per Gunn Report.


3. Pen Ek Ratanaruang

Pen has worked as a commercial director while working at a Film factory. He has won various accolades for his commercial career, especially for Clairol, anti-dandruff shampoo. He started film direction with Fun Bar Karaoke, which premiered at the Berlin Film festival.  His movie like Ruang Talok 69, Monark Transistor were official submissions for Academy Awards. He is best known for Last Life in the Universe, Headshot, Ploy, etc.


4. Wisit Sasanatieng

Wisit worked as an art director at the Film factory and is best known to make commercials for MK Restaurant's hot pot chain in Thailand.  He started film direction with movies like Dang Bireley's and Young Gangster, Nang Nak. He won the Best Director award in the Dragons& Tigers Award for directing in Tears of the Black Tiger and the Silver prize for the most groundbreaking film, Citizen Dog. Norasinghavatar, Red Eagle, The Unseeable, Citizen Dog are some of his notable projects.


5. Nonzee Nimibutr

Nonzee started his initial career with direction in television commercials and music videos. He made his film debut with Dang Bireley's and Young Gangsters. Another project Nang Nak turns out to be a box office hit and won the Best Picture award at the Thailand National film awards. He set up his own production company named Cinemasia and directed projects like OK Baytong, The Ceiling, Queens of Langakasuka. He was honored with Silpathorn Award by Thailand Culture Ministry.


6. Nattawut Poonpiriya

He is a graduate of Srinakharinwirot University, best known for his music videos, commercials, and thrillers. He worked in short films like the library, Present perfect, I Stories 'L.' He is best known for his feature films Bad Genius and Countdown. The movies became a massive hit and immensely popular. Nattawut won Suphannahong National film award for best director, best screenplay, Bangkok Critics Assembly Award for Best Director for his movie Bad Genius.


7. Taiki Sakpisit

Taiki is best known for his short films and videos like a ripe volcano, the mental traveler until the morning comes. He made his debut in film feature with the edge of the daybreak, which was premiered in the Rotterdam film festival and garnered praise internationally. His projects screen in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Gio Verona Video festival, etc.


8. Banjong Pisanthanakun

Began his career with short films like Plae Kao, Colorblind screened at the San Francisco International Asian American film festival. His feature film Shutter, Alone, became a massive success. Shutter became immensely popular in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brazil. Hello Stranger, The ABCs of death, one day, The Medium are some of his other projects.


9. Anocha Suwichakornpong

Anocha started her career with her thesis short film Graceland which premiered at the Cannes Film festival. She established her production company, Electric Eel films, and went on with projects like Mundane History, By the time it gets dark, Krabi 2562. "Days like this, Full moon," "Ghosts," "Jia," "Black Mirror," "Coconut," "Nightfall" are some of her famous short films.


10. Chookiat Sakveerakul

A Thai director, the screenwriter who made his feature film debut with The Passenger of Li. He is known for his movie 13 Beloved, which won several awards. He acted as a co-writer for Body, Chocolate. "The Love of Siam," "The Eyes Diary," Home: Love, Happiness, Remembrance is some of his other projects.