Prince Claus Awards 2016: Speech Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Speech by Principal Prince Claus Laureate Apichatpong Weerasethakul on the occasion of the 2016 Prince Claus Awards at the Royal Palace Amsterdam on 15 December 2016

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

I’d like to express my deep gratitude to the committee and everyone behind this event, for allowing me to be here. It’s an absolute honour to be among the fine laureates and be part of the Prince Claus Fund. I highly admire your dedication to reach out, to share and to strive for diversity.

For a boy from a small town who was addicted to science fictions and ghost stories, this is for me one of the bright spots in a long journey. I remember when I was little I was playing with a flashlight underneath my blanket. I pretended that was my movie theatre. The patterns inside the blanket, whatever they were - the flowers, the animals, the geometric shapes, conspired to create stories. They were full of ghosts and monsters, and stars….

Out of the blanket, some situations in that little home operated like dreams. In that same bed, one day, there were non‐stop cartoons on our B&W television. Somehow all the stations decided to broadcast 24 hours Disney’s and Looney Tunes’. That was a special event for us kids. We didn’t go play outside for the whole day. Years later, I learned that that day, far away in Bangkok, the soldiers and the police were storming into a university, shot and killed student protesters en masse.

Fiction and reality always intertwine like two snakes or two butterflies. For me, they transform and devour each other through time. You confront them in order to understand your world. And I realise that this world, this blanket from childhood years has expanded immensely. In fact, we are all sharing the same blanket. Our lights awaken one another.

Now, You and I are lucky to be in the time that sharing information is just a touch. We realise more and more the beauty of our differences, and at the same time the atrocities and the prejudices. And there are still many places that remembering and sharing is dangerous. I know because I am from such place. My question is, what do we do to reach out, and communicate with empathy, when that place operates on a different logic? I don’t know the answer. But I just hope that shining the light on certain things may lead them out of darkness, and the light will certainly reflect back to you, because what we do effects one another.

With that, I’d like to thank you friends who are here from many places for support. I’d like to single out a few of you here. Simon Field, who has been my positive energy, with his truly gentleman approach to film producing, and to life. Bela Tarr, you are the force of integrity. You propel me to care less about luxury and care more about truth, and maybe to curse a little more often. Chris Dercon, thank you for your vision and your trust in the future of images. And my special thanks to Teem Chaisiri, thank you for being a part of my life, my actor, my photographer, my chef, my friend, my lover, and my inspiration.

Finally, this award encourages me to wake up to possibilities. I am deeply moved by your warm hospitality here in Amsterdam. I will keep tonight in my memory, the same way as one keeps love and friendship. And to all of us, let’s make everything happen through our lights. Thank you very much.

Prince Claus Awards 2016: Speech Apichatpong Weerasethakul

"what do we do to reach out, and communicate with empathy?"

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

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awards 2016 speech by Principal Prince Claus Laureate Apichatpong pdf - 0.23 MB

Apichatpong  Weerasethakul

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Apichatpong Weerasethakul (1970, Thailand), filmmaker and artist

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is an artist and a leader of Thailand’s independent cinema movement. His works subtly address complex social issues and personal politics through mesmerising aesthetics and innovative, non-linear narrative forms. He is also committed to promoting experimental and independent filmmaking in Thailand through his company Kick the Machine Films. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s work will be exhibited at EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam in September 2017. 

Find the report from the 2016 Prince Claus Awards Committee here

To watch the Awards film about the work of Apichatpong Weerasethakul please click here

Prince Claus Awards 2016: Speech Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Speech by Principal Prince Claus Laureate Apichatpong Weerasethakul on the occasion of the 2016 Prince Claus Awards at the Royal Palace Amsterdam on 15 December 2016 Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to express my deep gratitude to the committee and everyone behind this event, for allowing me to be here. It’s an absolute honour to be among...

 
 
 
 

Prince Claus Awards 2016: Speech Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Speech by Principal Prince Claus Laureate Apichatpong Weerasethakul on the occasion of the 2016 Prince Claus Awards at the Royal Palace Amsterdam on 15 December 2016 Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to express my deep gratitude to the committee and everyone behind this event, for allowing me to be here. It’s an absolute honour to be among...