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Bhandit Rittakol

bhandit rittakol
Bhandit Rittakol Thai: บัณฑิต ฤทธิ์ถกล, b 21 March 1951 in Ayutthaya Province, Thailand d 1 October 2009 in Bangkok was an award-winning Thai film director, producer and screenwriter His films include the controversial biographical film of Thai communist revolutionary Seksan Prasertkul, The Moonhunter; the jungle thriller Tigress of King River and The Seed Duay Klao or Thai: ด้วยเกล้า, a semi-documentary story of Isan farmers hit by drought who are saved by cloud seeding operations sponsored by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, as well as the Boonchu teen comedy series of the 1980s and 1990s


  • 1 Biography
    • 11 Early career
    • 12 The Moonhunter
  • 2 Partial filmography
  • 3 References
    • 31 Notes
  • 4 External links


Early career

After graduating from Assumption University in 1971, Bhandit became a journalist for The Nation, an English language daily newspaper that had just been started by some Thai journalists Among the stories he covered was 14 October 1973 uprising see History of Thailand 1932-1973

In 1975, he became a film critic and screenwriter, which eventually led to a career as a director He made his first film Khad Cheak, in 1984

In 1987 he made Duay Klao The Seed, a drama about a farmers in the north of Thailand hit by drought The movie starred folksinger Jarun Manopetch and it won best picture and best actor honors at the Thailand National Film Awards The Seed was remastered and re-released in 2006 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the accession of King Bhumibol Adulyadej This is the only Thai film made to date to specifically address King Bhumibol's cloud seeding program As well other Thai royal projects are depicted in the film The re-released film also featured a new score of compositions by the king

Other films by Bhandit include Classmates, which won best picture, best director and best screenplay in 1990; Miss You, winner of best picture, best director and best screenplay in 1993, and Once Upon a Time, the hit comedy film series Boonchoo His drama, Kalla khrung nueng muea chao nee Once Upon a Time This Morning, won awards for best director and best screenplay and was submitted as Thailand's Best Foreign Language Film for the 68th Academy Awards in 1995

The Moonhunter

Bhandit became controversial in 2001 with the release of The Moonhunter 14 tula, songkram prachachon or 14 October: War of the People, a biographical film about 1970s Thammasat University student activist and communist rebel Seksan Prasertkul, who co-wrote the screenplay The English title refers to an episode when Seksan was fighting in the jungles of Thailand and, one night, startled by the rise of the moon, he fired his rifle at it

The Censorship Board banned the film's trailer, which included stock footage from 14 October 1973 student uprising, with soldiers and policemen beating up unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators Bhandit then vowed to not release the film if the board made any cuts, but the board responded that Bhandit was simply using the censorship review process as a means of generating publicity for his film As it turned out, the film was released without any cuts, a sign, Bhandit said, that Thai society was maturing

The film was submitted by Thailand for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Subsequent films, the CGI-heavy The Tigress of King River, the science fiction film, Ukkabat Meteor and the swashbuckling period film, The Magnificent Five generated neither controversy nor critical acclaim

Despite health problems including diabetes and a heart attack, Bhandit continued to work

"What else I can do Run a noodle shop" the director was quoted as saying by The Nation in 2006 "I have to work I don't have much time because a director of my age is going to be out of fashion soon"

In 2008, he made a critical and commercial comeback with Boonchu 9, which revived his hit teen comedy series highlighting the clash of rural and urban cultures In 2009, he released the teen romance A-Nueng Kidthueng Pen Yang Ying, reviving his earlier Miss You series

He also directed Maha Nakorn, one of nine shorts by different directors in the Sawasdee Bangkok anthology It premiered as the closing film on 30 September 2009 at the 2009 Bangkok International Film Festival, just one day before his death He was also at work on Boonchu 10, which studio Five Star Production planned to go ahead and complete

Partial filmography

  • Khad Cheak 1984
  • Duay Klao The Seed 1987
  • Boonchoo
  • Hong 2 Run 44 Classmates 1990
  • Kalla khrung nueng muea chao nee Once Upon a Time This Morning 1994
  • Satang 2000
  • 14 tula, songkram prachachon The Moonhunter 2001
  • sarb suer tii lum nam kasat Tigress of King River 2002
  • Chue chop chuan ha reung 2003
  • Ukkabat The Meteor 2004
  • Phra-dek-seua-kai-wawk The Magnificent Five 2006
  • My First Report Short Films Project in Commemoration of the Celebration on the Auspicious Occasion of His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary, 2007


  • Thai Takes: Contemporary Thai Film Directors retrieved 31 August 2006
  • Svetvilas, Chanika 2003 Bhandit Rittakol: News Reporter Turned Filmmaker In His Own Words, ThaiLinksorg retrieved 31 August 2006


  1. ^ Thairath Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 8 October 2009
  2. ^ "Boonchu director dies", The Nation retrieved 1 October 2009
  3. ^ Pajee, Parinyaporn 15 August 2006 "Seeds of wisdom", The Nation, Page 16A print edition only
  4. ^ Somsin, Benjawan 3 October 2001 "Director vows to appeal any cuts to film", The Nation retrieved 31 August 2006
  5. ^ Ywin, Ken 17 October 2001 "Fighting for history", The Nation retrieved 31 August 2006
  6. ^ Soop Sip 16 August 2006 "Bhandit makes last bid for fame", The Nation print edition

External links

  • Bhandit Rittakol on IMDb

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