The Thai film industry kickstarts the AFM 2014 in style with a pre-market gala night presided over by the Princess of Thailand
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA — November 1, 2014 — Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi was in Santa Monica last Thursday to preside over Thai Night 2014, a pre-American Film Market gala event attended by film professionals from Thailand and Hollywood.
Organized by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) of the Thai Ministry of Commerce, the initiative organized on the eve of the American Film Market was aimed at promoting the Thai film industry in the U.S., and fostering greater creative and business ties between the two countries.
Held in Santa Monica, California, the event put the focus on Thai-US co-productions and Thailand as a filming destination of choice for American productions.
In 2013, a record 67 international motion pictures were filmed in Thailand, a 26% increase from the year before. Recent highlights include Cannes 2013 official competition’s Only God Forgives starring Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas, The Railway Man starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, and the upcoming The Coup, an action film starring Owen Wilson, Pierce Brosnan and Lake Well.
Thailand’s appeal is based on a unique combination of factors which makes the country extremely production-friendly : skilled and experienced crews, state-of-the-art filming and post-production facilities as well as gorgeous locations and world-class hospitality.
In her introductory speech, Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi stated that “the Thai film professionals understand the value of creating long-lasting bonds, and this inclination is reflected in the Thai film industry’s established tradition of collaborating within and outside of its borders”.
Mrs. Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, Director-General of the Department of International Trade Promotion of Ministry of Commerce, added that “Thai film companies are entering into major international partnerships and co-productions, and foreign producers are now choosing to relocate their activities in Thailand, taking advantage of a remarkable production environment”.
During the event’s industry panel, Tom Nunan, Partner at Bull’s Eye Entertainment and producer of the Academy Award winning film Crash (Best Picture, 2006), shared his experience working in Thailand and noted that, as far as entertainment is concerned, Thailand is the rising force in Southeast Asia. Stargate SG1 and Scorpion King III’s casting director Ivy Isenberg noted how easy it was to find skilled and English-speaking talent in Thailand. Marc-Edouard Leon, from music video directing duo SKINNY, shared his experience shooting two music videos, recalling the amazing production value Bangkok offers when it comes to filming. Producer and Entertainment Attorney Donald Barton stressed the fact that the state-of-the-art equipment, facilities and crews available in Thailand enable producers to film any story, no matter the scope, entirely in Thailand. Thai production manager Sasisupa Sungvaribud agreed, explaining that what makes Thailand truly unique is the can-do attitude and eagerness of the local film crews to make the impossible possible and satisfy filmmakers’ most challenging demands.
All these accomplishments and more were at the center of Thai Night 2014 – Where Films Come Alive, an exclusive event organized by the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), Royal Thai Ministry Of Commerce.