Department of Tourism announces the launch of the 5th Thailand International Film Destination Festival 2017 (TIFDF 2017), with an aim to push Thailand as World's Best Film Location. This year's concept is "FASCINATING DESTINATION", focusing on promoting the eight tourism clusters in Thailand among international filmmakers through a series of activities, such as a short film competition to be joined by film students from around the world. Another special activity for this year is a short film competition for Thai students under the topic "Tourism Linked to Royal Projects" to pay homage to His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Participants can choose any of 29 Royal Projects selected for this competition. There will also be screening of famous films shot in Thailandfor the Thai audiences to see and appreciate.
Tourism and Sports Minister Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said, "Tourism and Sports Ministry is directly responsible for tourism. We have tourism strategies which aim to generate income for the country, bring income to communities, improve the quality of life for Thai people, and add value to Thailand's tourism. We have many beautiful destinations in Thailand, and the international film industry is directly linked to Thailand's tourism. This not only brings in a large amount of money to our country, but also helps promote Thailand's beautiful destinations internationally. TIFDF has been held annually since 2013 with an aim to attract those in the film industry to shoot films in Thailand."
"This year, the concept of TIFDF is 'FASCINATING DESTINATION', with a goal to highlight Thailand's image as World's Best Film Location. We have exquisite locations, as seen in many commercials, documentaries and films shot in Thailand. In 2016, more than 700 foreign films were shot in Thailand, generating 2.3 billion baht. In the first five months of this year (Jan-May), a total of 369 films and videos were shot in Thailand, generating 1.4 billion baht. Compared to the same period last year (Jan-May 2016), we see an increase in number and revenue -- a rise from last year's 323 films and videos, and 846 million baht revenue. Thailand is a dream destination for many travelers who have come to know Thailand through films, such as James Bond 007 which was shot in Koh Tapu, Phang Nga province. Today, it is still known as James Bond Island. Recently, a Chinese movie Lost in Thailand was shot in Thailand, which prompted a lot of Chinese people to visit Thailand. Hangover also presented Thai cuisine to the world. Thailand has been trusted by international film crews because of our beautiful locations, the talents of Thai people, and the credibility of our country," Mrs. Kobkarn said.
Ms. Wannasiri Morakul, Director-general of the Tourism Department, said, "This year, we follow the government's policy to support tourism in Thailand. We promote the eight tourism clusters of tourism development strategy for 2015-2017 to make Thai locations well-known internationally. TIFDF 2017 will take place during July 4-27, 2017, and the activities include:
1) Thailand Short Film Competition: Thailand Short Film Competition will take place during July 21-25, 2017. Teams of Thai and foreign film students are being accepted until the end of June. A total of 24 teams will be selected by the judges to go make short film at the eight tourism clusters, three teams per cluster. Each team consists of three members, namely two foreign film students in charge of producing the film, and one Thai film student as a production assistant. The Thai member is in charge of coordinating with film locations. This grouping method will lead to international collaboration and encourage knowledge exchange. The focus is on presenting tourism, lifestyle, culture and attractions of each destination in the eight clusters of tourism development strategy for 2015-2017, including its natural beauty which has captivated visitors for years. Eight prizes will be given out to the winning team of each cluster and a Grand Prize will be given to the winner.
The Thailand Short Film Competition this year will include a special highlight -- a short film competition following His Majesty King Bhumibol's Royal Initiatives. This competition is only open to Thai students. They will make short films under the topic "Tourism Linked to Royal Projects" to pay homage to His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Participants can choose any of 29 Royal Projects selected for this competition. In the first round, a total of 30 teams will be chosen to present their ideas to Thailand's top directors such as Nonzee Nimibutr, Prachya Pinkaew, Soros Sukhum, and Assoc Prof Patamavadee Charuworn of the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University. Nine final teams will be chosen to make short films at actual locations, in order to find only one winning team.
2) Thailand on Screen: The screening of foreign films shot in Thailand will take place during July 21-25, 2017 at Paragon Cineplex, Siam Paragon. A total of five films, all of which were shot in Thailand, will be screened for the public to enjoy free of charge. They are all famous films which will take you back in time, such as Deer Hunter (1978) and Air America (1990).
3) Thailand Short Film Competition Awards Ceremony: The awards ceremony will take place on July 27, 2017 at Siam Pawalai Grand Theater, Siam Paragon. The grand event is held to honor all the winners and to present the beauty of film locations in Thailand as well as to congratulate members of the local industry and international guests for their support and contribution to the Thailand's film industry.
"The goal of these activities is to groom a new wave of film students from around the world, both local and international, as well as producers, directors, and film fans, in order to promote Thailand's image and our beautiful destinations which can welcome both tourists and film crews. We hope that this project will lead to international partnerships and attract international film crews to come to Thailand, making Thailand the leader of tourism and film in the future," Ms. Wannasiri said.