More incentives for foreign film shoots

More incentives for foreign film shoots

Mr Danucha says a possible new incentive includes a 30% cash rebate for foreign filmmakers who spend between 50 and 100 million baht on their production in Thailand.
Mr Danucha says a possible new incentive includes a 30% cash rebate for foreign filmmakers who spend between 50 and 100 million baht on their production in Thailand.

The government looks set to increase incentives and deregulate foreign film shoots in Thailand, aiming to promote shooting and production.

Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council, said the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) ordered related agencies at a meeting on Dec 3 to find fresh ways to lure more foreign film shoots to Thailand.

New incentives should be finalised and proposed to CESA's next meeting in January, he said.

According to Mr Danucha, rules and regulations pertaining to foreign film shoots involve various agencies, while work permit procedures are not convenient for film shoots, the import tax for equipment is relatively high and state agencies' regulations for use of public areas are unclear.

A major obstacle is some regulations are outdated, such as a requirement that actors take a blood test for syphilis, he said.

In addition, the incentives offered in Thailand are less competitive compared with those promoted by other countries.

However, Mr Danucha said Thailand's competitive edge is its host of attractive locations for film shoots and good tourism infrastructure.

Thailand currently offers a cash rebate equivalent to 15% of every 50 million baht spent on a film shoot.

An extra 5% cash rebate is offered if foreign film studios hire Thai staff, promote Thai culture and shoot in second-tier tourism provinces.

The cash rebate is capped at 75 million baht.

In Malaysia, international filmmakers who spend a minimum of RM5 million (about 40 million baht) on production costs, including post-production activities in Malaysia, are entitled to a 30% cash rebate, with a requirement that at least 30% of the production crew must be locals.

Shoots that spend at least RM1.5 million (about 12 million baht) on post-production activities in Malaysia, or a minimum of RM385,000 (3.05 million baht) per hour on TV series, are also entitled to enjoy a 30% cash rebate.

Poland offers a cash rebate of 30% to filmmakers who spend at least 30 million baht on production costs, while South Africa provides a 25% cash rebate to those who spend 105 million baht on production and post-production activities, with an additional 5% cash rebate offered if they use local companies.

According to Mr Danucha, CESA also instructed the Creative Economy Agency, the Tourism Department and relevant agencies to propose fresh incentives to attract international film production companies to shoot their films in Thailand.

He said the most likely scenario for the new incentives include a 30% cash rebate for foreign filmmakers who spend between 50 and 100 million baht on production in Thailand.

In 2020, there were 176 foreign film shoots in Thailand, of which 74 were movies, 33 were series, 28 advertisements and 41 other types.

The average production cost was 100-300 million baht.

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