Industryites seek more action on piracy

BEIJING — Thailand’s film and TV biz directly contributes $2.22 billion to the economy, and supports 86,600 jobs, as well as generating $81 million in tax revenues, according to a new report.

“The Economic Contribution of the Film and Television Industries in Thailand” was prepared by Oxford Economics and launched to an audience of over 400 bizzers in Bangkok.

Speaking at the launch, culture minister Sukumol Kunplome said 578 foreign films were shot in Thailand in 2010, generating $60.8 million in revenue.

“This is an important and valuable report which I hope will contribute to stimulating an even healthier film and television community in the future.”

This amounts to 0.65% of total Thai gross domestic product, said Jaruek Kaljaruek, chairman of the Federation of National Film Assns. of Thailand and managing director of the Kantana Group, who called for more to be done to combat piracy.

“While I’m optimistic that the outlook is promising, these are challenging times to pursue a career in the screen industries, given that content created by our community is constantly in need of protection from content theft. Every one of our films is available on illegal DVD copies easily found on the streets or online on the many Thai file-sharing platforms. The government needs to act quickly and effectively to address this before it causes irreversible damage to our screen community.”

Former managing director of the Motion Picture Assn. of Thailand, and newly appointed international prexy of Thai Airways, Sorajak Kasemsuvan, said the average wage in the biz was double the national average.

Mike Ellis, topper for the Motion Picture Assn.’s Asia Pacific arm, said: “The industry stimulates a range of economic activity through related businesses and services, contributing over a quarter of million jobs to the whole economy.

“This is the reason why we are fully committed to working closely with the local screen community to promote further growth and help protect the valuable creative work created with so much hard work and passion.”

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