Written by on Sep 21, 2015. Posted in Incentive News

Thailand eyes 2018 for first filming incentive payments to foreign producers

Thailand is planning to launch its first formal filming incentive programme in 2017, with the first payments available a year later. The government is looking to launch a 15% tax rebate, with a per-production cap equivalent to about USD 5.6 million.

The number of international features, commercials and TV shows filmed in Thailand has fallen since 2013, according to Department of Tourism figures.

However, the government believes a formal filming incentive could help more than double production revenue, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

“Thailand will get multiple benefits from the incentives,” said Rachvin Narula, co-founder and executive director of Bangkok-based Benetone Films, in recent comments to The Location Guide.

“The obvious one is of course the additional foreign exchange earnings for the country. It will also benefit the skill development for the film industry’s crews. Larger projects will raise Thailand’s profile with an increase in tourism.”

In addition to the filming incentive plans, the Foreign Film Production Services Association will investigate standardising equipment rental costs across the country.

Thailand has had success with a few isolated international hits over the years including Danny Boyle’s backpacking drama The Beach and comedy The Hangover Part II. More recent shoots have included the smaller-scale Only God Forgives (above).

The country faces stiff competition from the likes of China and Malaysia, the latter of which now has a 30% filming incentive and Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios near the border with Singapore.

Given the relatively small film fund, Thailand may still struggle to attract big-budget international shoots but the 15% tax rebate is a solid start point.

(Photo: Wild Bunch)


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