Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thai: อภิชาติพงศ์ วีระเศรษฐกุล; RTGS: Aphichatphong Wirasetthakun; IPA: [ʔà.pʰí.tɕʰâːt.pʰōŋ wīː.rá.sèːt.tʰà.kūn]) is a Thai independent film director, screenwriter, and film producer. Working outside the strict confines of the Thai film studio system, Apichatpong has directed several features and dozens of short films. Friends and fans sometimes refer to him as "Joe" (a nickname that he, like many with similarly long Thai names, has adopted out of convenience).
His feature films include Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, winner of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or prize; Tropical Malady, which won a jury prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival; Blissfully Yours, which won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard program at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival; Syndromes and a Century, which premiered at the 63rd Venice Film Festival and was the first Thai film to be entered in competition there; and Cemetery of Splendour, which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim. Apichatpong has received numerous additional accolades, including the 2016 Principal Prince Claus Award and the eighth edition of the Artes Mundi Prize. His first English-language film was Memoria, a 2021 international collaboration set in Colombia.
Themes reflected in his films include dreams, nature, sexuality (including his own homosexuality), and Western perceptions of Thailand and Asia, and his films display a preference for unconventional narrative structures and for working with non-actors.
Apichatpong has also widely exhibited in galleries, including FACT in Liverpool, and the BFI Gallery in London, the contemporary art space within BFI Southbank.