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Thailand announces first filming incentive

Only God Forgives filmed in ThailandThailand has announced plans to launch its first filming incentive in early 2017, although the size of the all-important film fund has yet to be confirmed.

A cash rebate of up to 20% will be made available to productions that spend at least $1.5m in Thailand. A per-production cap will apply, but has not yet been decided. 

Shoots will be further incentivised to hire local crew in key creative positions and to film content that specifically promotes Thailand internationally.

The development has been a long time coming for the country, which has been focussed in recent years on using film production to promote tourism rather than attracting higher-profile shoots.

“We’ve been working very hard to come up with this scheme and we hope you’ll look at Thailand in a new light - we’re committed to making our country a dream destination for everybody,” said Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Thailand’s minister of tourism and sports, in comments to Screen Daily in Cannes. 

Thailand is already a popular filming location – 63 features shot in the country in 2015 – but the country has only sporadically attracted high-profile productions like The Hangover: Part II, Only God Forgives (pictured) and last year’s military coup drama No Escape.

The new filming incentive will be managed by the Thailand Film Office and could help boost the country as a part of south-east Asia that already offers exotic locations and cheaper production costs. 

Neighbouring Malaysia has had a 30% filming tax rebate in place for a couple of years and Vietnam has had a profile boost this year hosting the big-budget Hollywood production Kong: Skull Island.

For more on filming in Thailand see our production guide.

Image: Wild Bunch