Swedish Producers Spent 57 M For Films Shot in Thailand

The one-stop service centre that makes foreign-film approval easier than ever, with its staff drawn from agencies that have regular contact with film producers, including the Department of Employment, the Fine Arts Department and the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department have full authorization from their departments to approve any requests from foreign producers, located on the first floor of the Tourism Development Office in Rama I Road, enables 301 films shot in Thailand from the start of the year 2007 until August 10 to generate 756 million baht of income out of which  57 million baht from Swedish producers, said Thanitta Meneechote, director-general of the Tourism Development Office, who oversees the centre, reported by The Nation on August 14, 2007.
The sign “A Film Friendly Destination” at the newly opened Thailand Film Office is intended to make foreign film producers feel welcome. Staffed by officials from three government agencies , the centre will approve applications for foreign film productions, documentaries, TV commercials, music videos and TV programmes within one or two days and no longer than three days. In the past it took 15 days. On August 10, there were 30 applications and 20 of them were approved.
”Such rapid service will be provided for feature films and TV series over the next six months,” said Thanitta Meneechote. The process is easy. All application forms and supporting documents will be checked first. If no further documents are needed, the applications will be registered and forwarded to the three involved departments. Normally, foreign filmmakers will have local coordinators certified by the Thailand Film Office to take care of the application process. They also deal with any difficulties that might arise during filming or post-production.
Feature films, TV series and other types of the productions still need permission to shoot from the Thailand Film Office in Building 2 of the Office of Tourism Development. Applicants must submit scripts 14 days in advance to receive approval from the Film Board. ‘But we would urge related agencies to support shortening times for approving feature films and TV series within six months as planned,” she said.
The one-stop service centre is an initial step to attract foreign film productions in a bid to generate more revenue from tourism-related businesses. In the year 2006, 491 films were shot in Thailand that generates 1.92 million baht of income, said Thanitta.

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