Thai film industry ‘held back by lack of funding and audience support’
Thailand’s film industry needs more funding and practical support to become a player in the global market, where it could increase the country’s soft power, panelists told a seminar at the World Film Festival of Bangkok 2022, TK Park, Central World on Thursday.
The most difficult thing about being a filmmaker in Thailand is the complete lack of support, director Chantana Tiprachartm said at the seminar focused on Thailand’s soft power in the global movie market.
She added that many of her peers had to fund their own films because there were no other options, pointing to a film released by director Thapanee Loosuwan this year.
"For example, look at ‘Blue Again’ by Thapanee Loosuwan. It took eight years to complete,” Chantana said, adding that the film was selected to open the Busan Film Festival this year.
“The difficulty of making just one film in Thailand is enough to kill off the talent. Thailand’s film industry cannot flourish because it is too difficult to make films here,” added Chantana, director of the film “Nha Harn” and a member of the Thai Film Directors Association.
She said it was crucial to help filmmakers, particularly new ones, complete their films.
Pramote Boonnumsuk, a member of the Culture Ministry's Thai Media Fund (TMF), Pornchai Wongsri-udomporn, a member of the National Federation of Thai Film Associations, and Chantana Tiprachartm, director of Nha Harn Film and a member of the Thai Film Directors Association joined the discussion.
Pramote Boonnumsuk, a member of the Culture Ministry's Thai Media Fund (TMF), admitted that the fund has limited money for films. However, he said TMF was good at finding partners in Thailand and abroad to help Thai directors to showcase their films.
He advised young Thai directors to start by making films for streaming or other online platforms. TMF will launch more support services for filmmakers in the coming years, he added.
Pornchai of the National Federation of Thai Film Associations said Thai people are both the film industry’s strongest and weakest links.
Thailand has enough talented people to create a thriving film industry, but Thai films lack sufficient support from Thai audiences, Pornchai said.
He said he agreed with Chantana that filmmakers need more funding and that the funding has to arrive fast.
“The film industry also needs great marketing and distribution plans. Films are art, but they are also a kind of investment that can generate great returns."
A good business model for developing the industry will allow people in the industry to feel at ease and continue making great films, he said, adding that audience support must increase.
The seminar was held as government officials consider ways to increase Thailand’s soft power globally to attract more tourists and investment into the country.