Benetone Films Appointed Thailand Online Producer for Mukta's New Film

Benetone Films is proud to announce that it has been appointed the Thai Online Producer for Nagesh Kukunoor’s latest feature film Bangkok to Bombay. Under the banner of Mukta Searchlight the movie Bangkok to Bombay is a romantic comedy stars Shreyas Talpade and Thai actress Lina Christianson. First time ever that a Thai lead actress is starring in a Bollywood film.

Talking about the subject of Bombay to Bangkok, Nagesh said that he has been a frequent visitor to Thailand. "I truly enjoyed the place...this is a place I wanted to showcase in the film. I've tried to understand the Thai culture and from my research I can say that there are a lot of similarities between Indian and Thai cultures. It's Same Same...But Different." Same Same...But Different also happens to be the catch line of the film that is written in a zany manner on the film's poster that resembles an Airline Boarding Pass. The maverick director seems to be completely smitten by Thai culture and wants to showcase Thailand in a different light.

Mukta Searchlight films was launched in 2004 by the Veteran film maker Subash Ghai to encourage independent cinema and debut film-makers with low cost productions, while Mukta Arts Entertainment was launched to cater to mainstream popular cinema like last release 36 China Town and this year's release Sangeeth Sivan's Apna Sapna Money Money.

The filming starts from 15th March to 21st April in Bangkok, Kha Yai and Kho Chang. It should be an exciting schedule. Please do visit our blog for regular updates of the shoots and prodution stills.

Headlines: Bollywood trains cameras on Thailand

By Rohini Bhandari

23 February 2007, 10:45 AM

MUMBAI: Bollywood, ever in search of exotic locales, seems to be setting its sights on Thailand. E Niwas' De Taali and Nagesh Kukunoor's Bombay to Bangkok are two forthcoming films, which will be shot in the country.
Thailand too is keen to welcome Bollywood with open arms. In 2006, of the 450 foreign film productions produced in Thailand, 79 were from India. These included ads, music videos, short films and feature films.

In the most recent and enterprising Thailand – Bollywood connection, Mukta Searchlight Films' Bombay to Bangkok will be extensively shot in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. In fact, it was the city itself that inspired director Nagesh Kukunoor to script his film. He says, "As a frequent visitor to Thailand, I truly enjoyed the place. During my research, I found that Indians and Thais are 'same same but different' (which incidentally, is the tagline of Bombay to Bangkok). It was with this basic concept that I wrote Bombay to Bangkok as a romantic comedy."

Ghai's earlier film, 36 China Town too was shot in Thailand. In recent times, films like Kaal and Anthony Kaun Hai have been shot in Thai cities. While Kaal was billed Rs 10 million (Rs one crore) for a 10 day shooting schedule, Anthony Kaun Hai was shot for a period of 30 days for Rs 16 million (Rs 1.6 crore).

"The rates differ on the basis of the script, producer and scale of the film. Another factor that determines the rates is how well our country is projected in the film," says Thai Consulate General Jesada Chavarnbhark.
Chavarnbhark, who was present at the launch of Bombay to Bangkok says that if a documentary or commercial film is to be shot in Thailand, the relevant permissions can be obtained within one day.

Currently, the country does not offer rebates or subsidies to filmmakers, but will soon chalk out plans and rates that will make Thailand an enterprising destination for Bollywood filmmakers.

Source: Business of Cinema

Headline: International film festival to go ahead in July

This year's Bangkok International Film Festival will go ahead in July, organisers said yesterday, dispelling rumours it had been cancelled.
The 10-day festival would open at SF CentralWorld Plaza on July 19.

However the budget had been cut to only 60 million baht, well down on last year's 180 million baht budget.

Organisers hope to showcase about 100 titles, with a team of Thai programmers responsible for film selection.

Festival director Chattan Kunjara na Ayudhya said this year's festival would be geared more towards Asian films with organisers hoping to attract a larger Thai audience than the festival had in previous years
Source: Bangkok Post: Friday February 23, 2007

Headline: Foreign films can get nod in 3 days

Speedy processing intended to encourage producers to shoot more movies here

Foreign film producers are guaranteed a three-day approval period if their films to be shot in Thailand deal with non-sensitive issues, according to Tourism and Sports Minister Suvit Yodmani.

Suvit yesterday said the ministry would order the Fine Arts Department, the Forestry Department and other related bodies to grant speedy permission in order to attract more foreign films.

The Fine Arts Department and Forestry Department control many venues popular with film-makers and should be able to approve requests themselves, Suvit said.

He said department directors could grant approval to avoid the lengthier process of consulting a minister. However, permission would only be given for non-sensitive movies. "If the film is not bothering our natural sites, culture, heritage or community, we will let them proceed," said Suvit.
The Thailand Film Office will help film-makers to obtain visas and work permits and to bring in equipment from abroad.

Foreign producers have been asking the government to reduce the tax on imported equipment and to provide more benefits.

In 2006, there were 14 foreign films shot in Thailand. One still under production is "Big Hit in Bangkok", a remake of "Bangkok Dangerous" by Hong Kong twins Oxide and Danny Pang. The movie features Hollywood star Nicolas Cage and well-known Thai actors Chakrit Yamnam and Dom Haetrakoon, with an estimated production cost of Bt220 million.

Hong Kong producers have returned to Thailand after a few years of decline because of alternative locations in China.

Two films were recently completed. One is "Secret Action", directed by Yuan Sai Sang and featuring Hong Kong superstars Cheng Yee Kim, Fu Lek and Fung Stephen Gin. Another is "Protg", starring Andy Lau and filmed partly in Chiang Rai.

Although these films were each made on small budgets of Bt3 million, there was a benefit to local companies working with the Hong Kong producers.

Indian producers are increasingly looking to Thailand to shoot music videos featuring panoramic views on beautiful beaches and islands such as Koh Poda, Maya Beach and the Phi Phi islands in Krabi province.
The estimated production cost for each Indian film is about Bt5 million.
The French government has also sponsored a Bt15-million film named "Cargo". The film was shot in cargo boats along the Chao Phya River and Koh Sichung in Chon Buri province.

Foreign film production in Thailand this year will take place in Bangkok, Krabi, Phang Nga, Phuket, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ratchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan.

The estimated cost of all productions amounts to more than Bt500 million.
Suchat Sritama
Source: The Nation: Fri, February 23, 2007

Production Stills: Kolson Snack

Production Still of Kolson Snack, "Snacker Brand" corn ships shot in Thailand. Kolson is the leading in Snack & Pasta product in Pakistan. Check out the clip of the ad below.

Headline: Film approvals to speed up with one-stop shop

Business >> Monday February 12, 2007

Foreign producers will spend less time getting permission to shoot films in Thailand after a one-stop service office opens some time in the next two months.

It would take one day to approve film shoots for commercials, music videos and TV shows, instead of several days to weeks currently according to Tourism and Sports Minister Suvit Yodmani.

For feature films and documentaries, which require script approval, the process would take only two weeks, he said.

The cabinet last month approved the establishment of a "one-stop service" office for international film producers working in Thailand. It hopes the office will promote investments in film production and bring in more foreign revenue.

The office, located at the Office of Tourism Development, will be run by representatives from various agencies, including the Culture Ministry, the Fine Arts Department, the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the Labour Ministry. Mr Suvit said he would hold talks with the agencies later this month and ask them to provide staff with full authority to make approvals.

Wanasiri Morakul, director of the Thailand Film Office, said it was not necessary to take a long time to approve music videos or commercials, as most could be produced in studios. But feature films are different as most use outdoor locations.

Activists claim that during the shooting of The Beach, in 2000 on Koh Phi Phi, the national park was damaged. The filmmaker has denied the claims.

Ms Wanasiri said revenue from foreign film production in Thailand had come mainly from advertising, music videos, documentaries and television shows. Many of them used local post-production houses.

Long feature-film shoots have been more scarce, with only two to three per year. Recently, two high-profile productions have used Thailand: Rambo IV starring Sylvester Stallone, and American Gangster starring Denzel Washington.

The statistics show revenue from foreign film shoots in 2006 was nearly two billion baht, compared with only 400 million in 1998. The amount of productions also increased to 490, from 290 in 1998.

She said the Tourism Authority of Thailand, together with the Export Promotion Department and the Board of Investment, would introduce the new one-stop service for US producers during a trade and investment promotional trip in April.


Poll: Which Version of Pantene Ad do you like better?

Below are Pantene Ads for Pakistan which was produced by Benetone Films. Version 1 & 2 are the Agency Cut and there is the Director's Cut. Just for fun, take our poll and let us know which one you like the best.

Version 1

Version 2

Director's Cut

Casting Call

Hey All,

In the last 3-4 years Thailand has developed into a major filming destination for Bollywood & Indian TVC production. Benetone Films alone has lined produced for over 30 Bollywood Films and 50 Indian TVC and a dozen still photography campaigns.

The biggest frustration we and the Indian producers face is the lack to organize based of Indian talents, models and character actors. Most of the shoot here involving Indian characters they would need to bring them from India.

Therefore, Benetone Films has decided as far as possible to try and develop a database of local & regional talents of Indian and other non-Thai. So, if you are an out going, fun loving, experimental kind of person looking to spice your life, new hobby, discover your hidden talent or get a chance to rub your shoulders with Stars why don’t you email us your photos and contact address for our database.

Whenever there is a requirement that fits your profile for still photography, TV Commercial or Feature films, we will contact you immediately for a casting session.

We are looking for:-

· All age groups – Male & Female from 6 months baby to 70 years old grandparents

· All types of looks characters, models, teenagers, normal day to day people

· All ethnic group – Punjabi, Hindu, Tamil, Sindhi, Sadars, etc.

Please email us your photos and general contact details to

Note From A Friend: Ashvin Kumar

Hi there,
My film Little Terrorist was the first short film from India to be nominated for an Academy Award® and also the most recent Oscar® nominated film from India. Two days ago, it became one of few shorts in the world to be selected by Apple iTunes and made available to the wired world for download.Little Terrorist has been shown at over a 120 film festivals around the world, picking up 15 top honors in them. Now, with a click of a button you can own a copy of it, on your computer and iPod. It has got a five star rating from all its viewers. In a single day (yesterday) it moved from the number 16 to the number 11 spot out of the top 100 on iTunes.If you like what you see, please write your own review and rate it; you could also forward this email to your friends and associates and help change the way the world watches movies.

GO TO - the USA version of iTunes music store
GO TO - movies
GO TO - short films or short films just added
CLICK ON - SHORTS (yellow) button, award winning short films.
OR click on the link below which takes you to the site directly.

More on Little Terrorist
Many thanks!!



Benetone Films had the pleasure of being appointed the Online Producer - Thailand for Dreyfuss/James Productions production of Ashvin Kumar's The Forest which was partly shot at the Khao Kiew Open Zoo. For more of Ashvin's thought on The Forest, his film and saving the tiger check out his blog -

AshvinKumar: The Forest, my film and save our tigers
THE FOREST: A thriller feature film set in the Indian jungles of Kumaon, TheForest is currently in post production. Watch the trailer now!
To read more about Ashvin, The Forest & Little Terroist please visit:

Headline: Thailand wants to lure film shoots

Government speeds up applications, permits

HONG KONG -- The Thai government said Tuesday it would slash bureaucracy to make Thailand a more attractive location for international film shoots. Moves, announced by the ministry of sports and tourism, however, fell short of introduction of new financial incentives.

The interim government's cabinet meeting approved the establishment of a service center that will process filming applications and issue shooting permits within 24 hours. Currently, these must be submitted to the Thailand Film Office at least 14 days before lensing. Country fears competition from neighboring Vietnam and Malaysia, which offer low-cost locations and less red tape.

Spokeswoman Natepreeya Chumchaiyo said that Thai authorities would, however, continue to monitor movie content and production practices to ensure cultural sensitivity and to protect the environment. With its rich diversity of locations ranging from tropical jungles and mountains to bustling modern cities, Thailand is one of the most favored international locations and in 2006 attracted some 400 movie, TV and music videos. However, the value of inward spend dropped to some Bt1 billion ($28 million) in 2006, compared with $39 million in 2002. Decline occurred before the September military coup and recent wave of bombings in Bangkok and the far south of the country.

With film policy in Thailand closely allied with tourism, environmental concerns run high. Twentieth Century Fox's "The Beach," which was shot in 2000 in a National Park, has been embroiled in years of court cases. In November the Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling that the production had damaged the environment and ordered a cost study. Recent Nicolas Cage starrer "Bangkok Dangerous" shot largely in the country. Next big incoming production is expected to be Sylvester Stallone starrer "Rambo IV: In the Serpent's Eye," which will lense in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and bring in an estimated $5 million.

Thornsiri Manoharn, who started her first term as Tourism Authority of Thailand governor last Thursday, said she was confident that the tourism industry would bounce back by 2010 and hit revenue target of $15.3 billion from foreign visitors. TAT is also the largest provider of coin for the Bangkok Film Festival, which was postponed from later this month to July.

This week there were mixed opinions about strength of local film sector from other quarters. Influential research and policy institute, Kasikorn Research Center said Monday that it expects Thai movie industry to grow by 10% in 2007 to some $154 million at retail prices. Institute pinned most of the growth on the expansion of country's theatrical exhibition sector and ever-improving facilities.

However, it warned that film is facing stiffer competition from other forms of entertainment, that movie-going is not increasing and that higher ticket prices could put off viewers. It urged hardtop operators to modernize ticketing outlets, introduce flexible pricing and, following the Dec. 31 bomb blasts, to increase security at multiplexes.

Source: Variety Web Exclusive
Posted: Thurs., Jan. 18, 2007, 3:17pm PT

Why Film in Thailand?

An article on the Ministry of Foreign Affair of Thailand website about the Advantages and Benefits for using Thailand as you next Filming Location: -

Fast approval for filming and efficient government pocedures

Permission to film in Thailand is granted by the Film Board of Thailand, comprised of representatives from many government agencies. These representatives formed the Sub-Committee on the Review of the Request for the Permission for Foreign Film Production in Thailand (SRF), appointed by the Film Board. Their review facilitates a “one-stop” service for filmmakers, assuring fast-approval for permission to film, given that all required information and documents are in order.

An unmatched diversity of locations/scenery

Thailand’s diversified geographical characteristics, historical sites, and lifestyle of our people offer unmatched diversity of locations, and storylines. All locations are conveniently accessible via our modern and convenient transportation mode. Thailand geography presents a system of mountainous region in the north, the uplifting of plateau in the northeast, the central plains, and coastlines paralleled by the Andaman Sea, and the Gulf of Thailand in the south.

Historical sites are found throughout Thailand. These historical sites are the remnants of the different eras in Thailand dating back to the Sukhothai (600-14000 AD), and the Rattanakosin (1782 A.D.-present). The lifestyle of our people is a synchronization of ancient, and modern, and a harmonic blend of rural and urban, to provide an unparalleled filming experience. At the Chao Phraya, and Mekong River Basins, traditional ‘ancient’ lifestyles along the waterfronts synchonize with ‘modern’ day living.

Equipped with the most advanced technology

Thailand is ready to provide to international filmmakers with talented crews and technicians, filming equipment and studios. Due to the competitive nature of the entertainment and technology industry, our entertainment equipment, and the skills of four technicians are all keeping pace with rapid international advancement. World-class pre-production, production, post-production and communication equipment is thus at low cost.

Abundant skilled and creative human resources

Renowned to the world as the “ Land of Smiles, our people are gentle, friendly and are widely recognized for their hospitality. This nature has nurtured Thais into being service-minded, hard working and flexible. Local production crews have worked in many international productions over the years developing the skills in the domestic industries. We are now ready to expand our services to serve international film and television markets.

Our skilled and creative production resources, specialists in pre-production, production and post-production processes are now confident to work in international environments helping you transform your dream onto film.

Low costs of production and living expenses

A.T.A Carnet Law applies in Thailand. This means that temporary admission exempt of import tax is allowed for all professional equipment. This includes production equipment provided that all equipment brought in for filming provided that all equipment brought in for filming is brought back out again when the filming is concluded. In addition, Thailand has signed Double Taxation Treaties with many foreign countries. These treaties are designed to prevent foreigners from countries legislated under the taxation treaties from taxation in their home country and again in Thailand.

Living expenses are low, whether it would be accommodations, food, transportation fees, recreation, and every other kind of living expense. When working with tight budgets, you will find your money stretches much further in Thailand.

All round convenience

A variety of accommodation, food, transportation, and services for filmmakers can be found in Thailand. Accommodation from five-star hotels to guesthouses can be selected to meet your budget. International cuisine is available from the finest restaurants or more convenient dishes can be found at roadside vendors. In addition, our transportation infrastructure facilitates travel and provides convenience for film crews. Vehicles such as motor homes, tour buses, helicopters and marine crafts are for rent at an extremely reasonable cost.

Filming in Thailand is hassle-free, as local coordination companies handle all arrangements. These companies provide assistance for all legal documentation from filming and work permits to contact and coordination with all related agencies. Local coordination services include recruitment of production crews and talent, location scouting and fulfilling clients’ specific needs for equipment, special effects and other technical services.

Headline: One-stop centre for foreign films

Wed, January 17, 2007 : Last updated 20:43 pm (Thai local time)

The (Royal Thai Government) Cabinet yesterday approved the establishment of a one-stop centre to promote foreign film production in Thailand.

Netpreeya Chumchaiyo, assistant government spokesman, said the centre would approve any filming proposal within 24 hours from one to two days at present. The centre is being established following declining revenue from foreign film production over the past four years.
In 2006, Thailand reaped only Bt1.04 billion, compared to Bt1.13 billion, Bt1.22 billion and Bt1.4 billion in the three preceding years.


Resources: List of Films That Use Thailand as Location

Alexander the Great goes up against a war elephant.

Scaramanga (Christopher Lee) and James Bond (Roger Moore) face off in The Man with the Golden Gun in a scene filmed in Phang Nga Bay.

Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter, made in Thailand.

"James Bond Island", in Phang Nga Bay, featured in The Man with the Golden Gun.

Dozens of films have used Thailand as a location, with the kingdom either playing itself or standing in for a neighboring country, such as Vietnam or Cambodia.

The availability of elephants, exotic jungle and beach settings, relatively low production costs, and a mature film industry that provides a legion of experienced crew members, have made Thailand an attractive location for films.

Films set in Thailand include Around the World in Eighty Days, The Big Boss, The Man with the Golden Gun and The Beach. And Thailand has been used as a stand-in setting for such Vietnam War-era films as The Deer Hunter, Casualties of War and The Killing Fields.

In addition to providing work for Thai film crews and extras (including the Royal Thai Army), films that use Thailand as a location help Thailand promote itself as a tourist destination. As a result, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is keenly interested in attracting studios to make films in the Kingdom.

Source: Wikipedia

For more detail check -

Production Stills: Tiger TVC - Neo Sports

Production stills of TVC titled "Tiger" for Neo Sports Channel of Nimbus Communication to be aired in India during a Cricket Tournament between India & Sri Lanka. The main lead for the film is of course the Tiger. Its a Siberian male tiger aged 1 year 2 months old.

Production Stills: Macroman Ad - Featuring Hritik Roshan

First look at behind the scene of the making of Macroman TVC. One of the largest undergarment manufacturer in India is introducing a new Brand of undergarment target towards men. They have select Hritik Roshan as the Macroman. Hritik Roshan is the current sensational hearthrob of Bollywood cinema. The ad was shot entire on location in Bangkok's Chinatown. The above photos are from one scene of many action sequence in the Ad.

The TVC is directed Jeff Balsmeyer. Jeff was the Writer/Director of Danny Deckchair, a feel good comedy shot entirely in Australia.

More Production Stills from Macroman Shoot:-

Production Stills: Livon 'Silky Hue' Ad

Behind the Scene of Hair Shot for Livon 'Silky Hue' Ad. Check out the TVC Clip below. For more of TVC and Music Video clips produced in Thailand with Benetone Films check out Benetone Films channels at

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