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Thailand still top choice among foreign film-makers, film board hears

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As many as 196 foreign films have been shot in Thailand since July last year, generating 6.38 billion baht in revenue for the country, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said.

The ministry revealed the information at a recent virtual meeting with the Film Board of Thailand, which was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam, Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome said on Monday. The culture minister is the deputy chair of the board.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry told the meeting that its policy of promoting Thailand for foreign films achieved success after the government approved the resumption of shooting under Covid-19 safety measures.

Between July 1 and March 16, 196 foreign films were shot in Thailand, 86 of which had their own production teams. These 86 filmmakers, who came from 33 different countries, created 4.24 billion baht worth of revenue for the country.

The top five countries that used Thailand as a location for their films during this period were India, France, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. However, the three countries that spent the most in Thailand to make films during that period were the United States, Australia and Hong Kong, which spent 1.95 billion baht, 702 million baht and 616 million baht, respectively.

Itthiphol added that the film board also discussed tax benefits that can be offered to promote the use of Thailand as a production base for digital visual effects and animation. The minister said the board expects the value of digital visual effects and animation to double in the next 10 years.

The animation and visual effects industry is worth about US$12.02 billion globally and 97 countries offer tax privileges to draw business, the meeting was told.

Itthiphol said Thailand has some 230 producers of animation and visual effects for films, animation, TV series, advertisements and computer games. These makers have both Thai and foreign clients and generate some 2.87 billion baht in income per year.

The meeting, meanwhile, resolved to have the Culture Ministry work with the Thai Animation and Computer Graphics Association to draft a master plan for tax benefits in a bid to attract more business.

Published : April 04, 2022

By : THE NATION