To strikes up ‘Band’ with Thailand studio

Construction begins in January

BANGKOK — “Band of Brothers” producer Tony To’s Studios Intl. is establishing a $75 million studio and film academy in Thailand and is in negotiations to shoot “Band of Brothers II” at the Thai location.

Construction will begin in January on 60-80 acres in Bang Kachao, south of Bangkok. The first phase should be finished in 10 months.

To, who is Studios chairman, and company prexy Patrick Murray met Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday in Bangkok. The prime minister pledged support for the project as part of his plan to promote Thailand as a location. Studios Intl. first requested government backing two years ago.

The government’s Board of Investment passed tax incentives for movie projects and studios in June. These include an eight-year waiver on corporate taxes and an exemption from import tariffs on machinery and equipment.

According to Pimol Srivikorn, secretary to the finance minister, Studios Intl. plans to spend $100 million-$150 million annually to produce three to four films here.

USC will advise on the curriculum and train professors for the academy in cooperation with local universities.

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