Thailand International Film Destination Festival which debuted from April 1 to April 10 was part of an effort to promote the country’s exotic settings and production facilities to the international screen industry. Thus it came to no surprise that the movies screened during the festivals were the ones that were filmed in Thailand, headlined of which were the dystopian backpacker film, The Beach and the raunchy comedy, The Hangover 2.
(For the list of the films, click here)
The event included a one day seminar held on April 5th at Centara Grand, Bangkok with two discussion panel sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with local well known figures from the film production in discussion with the foreign guests. Mr. Kulthep Narula represented Benetone Films which have had experience in the field for over a decade.
The morning session hosted two well known location managers from Hollywood, Mr. Michael John Meehan (Pirates of theCaribbean trilogy, Master and Commander: Far Side of The World, Oblivion and etc.) and Mr. Mike Fantasia (The Amazing Spider-Man, Catch Me If You Can and etc. ), Mr. Daniel Zirilli, a young filmmaker who has directed and/or produced over 250 music videos. The afternoon session hosted producer Mr. Andrew Pfeffer (Bangkok Dangerous, Running Scared and etc.), director and cinematographer Mr. Adam Kane (Formosa Betrayed, multi episodes of Heroes and etc.) and actor, producer and writer Mr. Will Tiao (Formusa Betrayed and etc.)
The local speakers besides Mr. Kulthep were actor, producer and writer Mr. Jude S. Walko and producer Ms. Sasisupa Sungvaribud who is also the president of the Film Production Services Association.
Even though, the sessions were dominated by different concerns, there was however one common issue that was raised and discussed extensively: lack of incentives in Thailand for the foreign productions. All of the guests concurred that while Thailand is an attractive option for the filmmakers, thanks largely to the exotic locations, professional and hard working crew, excellent infrastructure and film production services, its lack of incentives is hurting the business that the country should have been getting.
In our next blog, we will detailed the discussions and explore more on the issue of the incentives.
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