Held at JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot on November 1st, Thai Night 2018 – Thailand Where Films Come Alive was one of the most high-profile events of the AFM 2018.
Held last night in Santa Monica, Thai Night 2018 – Thailand Where Films Come Alive, a gala hosted by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Ministry of Commerce, on the occasion of the American Film Market 2018, was a resounding success, attracting hundreds of international film professionals keen to learn more about the growing appeal of Thailand as a filming destination as well as its state-of-the-art film production and creative services.
Presided by Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi, and with Ms. Chutima Bunyapraphasara, Deputy Minister of Commerce, also in attendance, the gala event registered full capacity attendance, with over 460 attendees from over 16 countries, including many high-profile talent and filmmakers such as special guests Mr. Jérôme Paillard Executive Director of Marché du Film, Alain Moussi, the lead actor in “Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018)”, Dimitri Logothetis, the film’s producer and director and Michael Jai White.
The gala gave the opportunity to the Thai film industry to showcase its talent and world-class production and post-production capacities with the “Thai Film Companies Showcase” activity, during which eight leading Thai film and animation companies presented their latest work, film lineups and services. The eight companies include Benetone Films Co., Ltd; GDH 559 Co., Ltd; Hollywood Thailand Co., Ltd; Kantana Sound Studio Co., Ltd; M Pictures Company Limited; P.L.H. Holding Co., Ltd; Sahamongkolfilm International Co., Ltd; and The Monk Studios Co., Ltd.
Notable films introduced at this year’s market and presented during the evening featured “KHUNPAN 2” produced by Sahamongkol Films, “Homestay” produced by GDH Pictures and “SAD BEAUTY” produced by Bongkod Bencharongkul which is distributed by M Pictures.
Thai creativity extends far beyond directing. The Thai film industry boasts world-class talent in all areas of filmmaking, from concept design — with such artists as Gritsada Satjawatcharaphong, lead sculptor and concept artist on “Star Wars”, “Spiderwick Chronicles”, “The Shadow King” or “The Life Aquatic” — all the way to setting design, with Nakarin Kamseela, an award-winning furniture designer whose works for design of brand Deesawat have been featured in high-profile international films such as “Her” and “The Gift”.
Thai creativity is born out of centuries of a rich and varied culture which is at the same time very unique and universally appreciated. When combined with its beautiful locations and state-of-the-art production, post-production, animation and CGI services, Thailand offers a truly one-of-a-kind film production environment which can satisfy all requirements of world-class international film production.
This explains why, while Thai films are conquering international festivals and audiences, Thailand is establishing itself as one of the most attractive film locations in the world. In 2017, 1,258 foreign audiovisual productions took place in Thailand, generating 145 Million US Dollars in gross foreign production expenditures. Among the upcoming projects shooting in Thailand is “Jiu Jitsu”, a sci-fi action film to be directed by Dimitri Logothetis, starring Tony Jaa, Alain Moussi and Randy Couture.
According to Ms. Chutima Bunyapraphasara, Deputy Minister of Commerce, these achievements are the direct result of the country’s film industry’s four strengths: the talent of Thai film professionals, the quality of the country’s production crews, Thailand’s beautiful locations and the proficiency of the Thai film industry’s post-production, animation and CGI services.
This trend will continue to strengthen thanks to the launch, back in 2017, of a production incentive program offering a cash rebate of up to 20% on qualifying production expenses.
Hence the comprehensive efforts spearheaded by DITP to promote the Thai film industry and its creative services toward the international film community, as part of the Government’s ambitious development initiative dubbed “Thailand 4.0”.
With hundreds of foreign film delegates attending its jam-packed AFM event, DITP’s strategy of promoting Thai film entrepreneurship and Thai film content and services is yielding results. While the number of foreign producers selecting Thailand as a shooting destination keep rising, several partnerships between Thai companies and international producers are said to be already in the work, and foreign buyers were particularly keen on snatching the latest Thai titles offered at the market, amounting to record level of sales at the Thai pavilion.