Thailand has announced the first foreign movies to have successfully accessed the country’s new filming financial incentive scheme: comedic drama “Changeland,” directed by and starring Seth Green, and multinational action film “Triple Threat,” directed by Jesse Johnson. The two productions tapped into the new scheme and received payment after shooting in locations and studios in Thailand.
The incentive system was announced in Cannes in 2016 after years of lobbying at different levels of the Thai and international industry. The incentive for qualifying productions starts at 15% of Thai production spend and can rise to 20% under certain conditions.
The first two successful films were announced at an event in Cannes by Thailand’s deputy prime minister Wissanu Kreangam.
“Coordinating with other government departments and ministries before launching the incentive measures, we took a great deal of time to ensure that our incentives are rock-solid. We are delighted that the process went smoothly for the first two productions,” said Worateera Suvarnsorn, director of the Thailand Film Office. “We had encountered some skepticism from producers. Is there a catch? Is the audit going to be too demanding? Will the funds actually be available when due?”
Previously announced recipient “Closer,” directed by Vicky Jewson, did not receive the incentive. “Changeland” made use of local production services company Living Films. “Triple Threat” employed SC Films Thailand.
The Southeast Asian nation is making its presence felt in Cannes with “Ten Years: Thailand,” which is screening in the Official Selection. The film is a forward-looking imagining of where Thailand is heading, directed by former Cannes Palme d’Or-winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Aditya Assarat, Chookiat Sakveerakul, Wisit Sasanatieng and Chulayarnnon Siriphol.
Saturday evening also saw the gala soiree Thai Night 2018 — Where Films Come Alive, presided over by Thai Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Sirivadhana Barnavadi.