Thai film editor joins Oscars academy

Thai film editor joins Oscars academy

Film editor Lee Chatametikool (photo supplied)
Film editor Lee Chatametikool (photo supplied)

Thai film editor Lee Chatametikool has been made a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, meaning he will be eligible to vote for the Oscars.

Lee, a popular editor and film director, is the third Thai to receive the honour - following in the footsteps of  director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom. 

In a move to diversify its voting demographic and placate criticism it comprises mostly of old white males, the Academy inaugurated 842 new members on Monday, half of them women and 29% people of colour.

Lee, whose mother is American, began his career as editor in the early 20s after graduating in the US.

He cut seminal Thai independent films of that period, notably Sud Saneha (Blissfully Yours), Kuen Rai Ngao (One Night Husband), Sud Pralad (Tropical Malady), Wonderful Town, and many more. His collaboration with Palme d'Or-winning Apichatpong, especially in Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, has long been the bedrock of Thai arthouse filmmaking.

Lee has also worked with commercial studios on many hit Thai films of the past decade, including the ghost film Shutter in 2004, Love of Siam in 2007, and last year's top-grosser Nakee 2.

Though he has directed one feature film, Concrete Cloud, which won several prizes, Lee is best-known as a post-production specialist whose clients now include not just Thai filmmakers but Southeast Asian, Middle-Eastern and European productions.

Other new members of the Academy this year include Lady Gaga, Claire Foy, Jamie Bell and John M Chu.

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