Thailand Picks ‘By the Time It Gets Dark’ for Oscar Contention

Thailand has selected drama “By the Time It Gets Dark” as its national representative in the Academy Awards foreign-language category.

Also known as “Dao Khanong,” the picture is directed by writer-producer and director Anocha Suwichakornpong. She previously directed “Mundane History” and was a producer on gay drama “How To Win At Checkers Every Time.”

Inspired in part by the 1976 Thamassat University student massacre, perpetrated by government and right-wing paramilitary forces, “By the Time It Gets Dark” melds individual fiction characters and a broader sense of Thai history. In it, a film director attempts to make a film about the massacre, aided by her muse, a student activist in the 1970s. Other stories, which loosely connect, involve a waitress who is forever changing jobs, an actor and an actress.

“By the Time It Gets Dark” had its world premiere in competition last year at the Locarno film festival and went on to have a distinguished festival career with appearances in Osaka and Rotterdam. It also earned a trio of prizes at the Thailand National Film Association Awards, including best picture, best directing and best editing.

The decision to put it in for Oscar contention was announced by the National Federation of Motion Picture and Contents Associations.

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