Oscars: Thailand Nominates ‘Countdown’ for Foreign Language Category

Nattawut Poonpiriya as Jesus in "Countdown"
Nattawut Poonpiriya as Jesus in "Countdown"

Thailand has submitted Nattawut Poonpiriya’s New York-set horror-thriller Countdown as its candidate for best foreign language film at the 2014 Oscars, the National Federation of Thai Film Associations, which makes the selection, told The Hollywood Reporter late Tuesday.

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The film, Nattawut’s debut as a writer and director, stars French-Thai actor David Asavanond as a sadistic, drug-dealing hipster named Jesus who terrorizes three Thai teens who procure his services on New Year's Eve. When Jesus arrives at the trio’s Manhattan apartment to sell them some high-powered pot called “The Enlightenment,” the night descends into an emphatically bad trip, with Jesus at the wheel.

Asavanond won best actor honors at the Thailand National Film Association Awards in March for his crazed performance. The film also took the best editing award and best screenplay for Nattawut.

No Thai film has ever made the Academy’s shortlist in the best foreign language category.

The nominations for the 2014 Oscars will be announced on Jan. 16. 

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