Anocha Suwichakornpong is a film director, writer, and producer. She is a professor at Columbia University and co-director of Purin Pictures, a non-profit film fund for Southeast Asian Cinema.

Artist Bio

FICTION takes place in a courtroom. The witnesses giving testimony are not actors. They are describing, in their own words, what they saw during a protest in 2010 when the military murdered 90 people in central Bangkok; the protestors were calling for basic democratic elections. In FICTION, the witnesses are represented by a human rights attorney played by a real lawyer. There are no actors in this film, however, it is not a documentary because the trial that is taking place is not real, but being staged for the film. In reality, the Thai government has not allowed the state violence committed in 2010 to be presented in an open public trial. The trial in this film is occurring in an imagined future, a future that the filmmaker hopes one day becomes a reality. The film is structured around the life-cycle of a courtroom trial, beginning with the legal team investigating the crime, gathering evidence, and traveling around the country interviewing witnesses. They will then present their evidence to the courtroom, relying on witness testimony to create a narrative that culminates with the attorney’s closing arguments. After the trial, late at night, the lawyer will phone one of the lead witnesses. The witness will ask the lawyer, “What is the verdict?” The film will end without an answer.

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Black and white image of Anocha Suwichakornpong wearing a sweater and a bag strap on her shoulder, smiling to the camera.

Anocha Suwichakornpong

Brooklyn, New York

Anocha Suwichakornpong received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Suwichakornpong is a filmmaker whose work is informed by the socio-political history of Thailand. Her thesis film, GRACELAND, became the first Thai short film to be officially screened at Cannes Film Festival. MUNDANE HISTORY, her first feature, won numerous awards including the Tiger Award at Rotterdam. BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK, Anocha’s second feature, which centers around a student massacre that took place in 1976 by Thai state forces in Bangkok, has been screened in festivals such as Locarno, Toronto, and Rotterdam. The film won Best Picture and Best Director at Thailand National Film Awards and was chosen as Thailand’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. Anocha founded the production company Electric Eel Films and co-founded the non-profit Purin Pictures. Through these organizations, she supports emerging voices in independent Southeast Asian Cinema. Anocha is a Prince Claus Laureate, DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Residency, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency recipient. She was a visiting lecturer at Harvard University from 2018-2020. Her latest film, COME HERE, premiered at Berlinale 2021. In 2022, Anocha directed her first live performance, FREETIME, commissioned by the Walker Art Center. She currently teaches directing in the MFA Film Program at Columbia University.