Thailand eyes billions in film investments after Cannes showcase

BANGKOK (The Nation Thailand/ANN): Thailand's soft-power policy reaps 3.69 billion baht dividend as over 800 foreign filmmakers express interest in the Land of Smiles as a location.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said it registered a surge of interest in filming in Thailand during its participation in the 77th Cannes Film Festival in France from May 14 to 25. The department estimates that inquiries at the festival will lead to investment of over 3.69 billion baht in the Kingdom.

The DOT said it received inquiries from over 800 filmmakers, who showed interest in the government’s 20% cash rebate for foreign film crews working in Thailand. They also wanted information on Thai films, series, and film crews.

Thirty producers and filmmakers are poised to invest in projects in Thailand, the DOT added.

Thailand eyes billions in film investments after Cannes showcase

Those expressing interest in Thailand as a filmmaking destination came from various countries, including France, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The DOT booth at Cannes showcased various filming locations in Thailand, including natural sites and historical landmarks. Thai cultural traditions and clothing such as elephant pants and Thai silk were also presented to foreign filmmakers during the 12-day festival.

Jaturon Phakdeewanich, director-general of the DOT, said the department also hosted events such as the Thailand Happy Hour for film producers, and a dinner for members of the Asian Film Commissions Network (AFCNet).

Among those spotted at the DOT’s showcase was actor Taha Shah Badussaha from the Indian Netflix series “Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar”, which is a big hit in Thailand.

The DOT’s annual Cannes showcase also serves as a platform to boost Thailand's cultural soft power to global audiences through foreign films shot in the country.

“Film” is one of the five Fs of the government’s soft-power development initiative, along with food, fashion, fighting, and festivals. - The Nation Thailand/ANN

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