EXCLUSIVE: Bad Genius star is the first Thai actor to win.

Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying

The 16th New York Asian Film Festival (June 30 to July 13), co-presented by Film Society of Lincoln Centre, has selected Chutimon “Aokbab” Chuengcharoensukying as the recipient of the Screen International Rising Star Asia award.

It’s the first time the award, in its fourth year, has gone to a Thai actor.

21-year-old Chuengcharoensukying, nicknamed “Aokbab”, stars in the high school thriller Bad Genius which opens the festival.

Chuengcharoensukying will be presented with the award before a screening of the film, which is Thailand’s biggest local hit of 2017.

Bad Genius is Chuengcharoensukying’s first film, and the festival’s executive director Samuel Jamier praised her performance in a “demanding role”.

Nattawut Poonpiriya, director of Bad Genius, added: “For solving the great demands of portraying Lynn’s character, Aokbab proved herself the correct answer for this film. Her great skill as an actress is to show that ‘less is more’: how she expressed her character’s choices through her eyes, her gestures and her movements made me a believer that this girl has the brains, the guts, and the ability to control and handle every step of the game without having to rely on anybody else.”

Previous recipients of the Rising Star Asia Award were Japan’s Fumi Nikaido in 2014, Japan’s Shota Sometani in 2015, and Japan’s Go Ayano, China’s Jelly Lin, and the Philippines’ Teri Malvar in 2016.

The 16th New York Asian Film Festival, will take place from June 30 to July 13 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and July 14 to 16 at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street).