Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thai film industry celebrates World Intellectual Property Day with DVD release

Yesterday was business as usual for the pirate-DVD dealers who do brisk trade in the streets and marketplaces across Thailand, but in observance of World Intellectual Property Day, the Thai film industry and the Motion Picture Association Asia Pacific issued their own DVD.

The 20-minute promotional DVD, Creators in Action: The Thai Film Industry, features clips from award-winning Thai films with an aim to "provide an insight into the filmmaking process in Thailand and to raise awareness of the complexities involved and the need to respect the creators behind the camera," according to a press release from the MPA.

The observance of World IP Day was organized by the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) of the Ministry of Commerce, the U.S. embassy and the Federation of National Film Associations of Thailand.

Among the attendees at "Protect Intellectual Property and the Future of the Film Industry” were Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot, U.S. embassy deputy chief of mission James F. Entwistle, DIP director Puangrat Asawapisit and Jareuk Kaljareuk, chairman of the Federation.

Here's more from the press release:

Five thousand copies of this DVD will be distributed across the country, mainly to schools and educational institutions.

“This is a very special day for the Thai film industry indeed as well as the people who make it the powerhouse industry it is,” said Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot. “On their behalf, I would like to thank the MPA for shining the spotlight on all the hard work, effort and people behind a creative work. Combined, the industry makes a very significant contribution to the country. The government needs to take a tough stance on piracy to make sure it can continue on its course to expand as well as win the hearts of more film fans in Thai and abroad.”

“We hope this DVD will help young people better appreciate the creative process,” said Jareuk Kaljareuk, chairman of the [Federation]. “Every one of the 300,000 people plays a role in bringing your favourite movie to life. Illegal camcording and pirated DVDs caused very serious economic damage to our industry.”

“Through this DVD, we appeal to the Thai people to help us fight these pirates who seek to destroy the livelihood of all of us who work in the industry.”

Jaruek is also a managing director of the Kantana Group, one of Thailand's leading film production companies.

Fittingly, guests at yesterday's DVD launch were treated to a screening of Kanatana Animation's Khan Kluay II, the continued adventures of a plucky war elephant that began with 2006’s Khan Kluay -- the first Thai computer-animated feature.

(Via Business of Cinema)

3 comments:

  1. My first thought when reading this was I wonder if there's an avi on a torrent available somewhere. Then I thought about it being available in pirate DVD format. And only then did the irony of it all hit me.

    Still it would be nice to see some behind the scenes footage.

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  2. Maybe it was different when I was in Chiang Mai. I never saw any pirate versions of any Thai movies for sale, and sometime after December 2006, even versions of Chinese or Korean movies were not to be found.

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  3. Peter, I don't often see sales of pirated Thai movies. Maybe once in awhile I'll encounter the odd guy selling Ong-Bak 2 or Chocolate off a bedsheet on the saphan loi. I suspect the piracy of Thai movies is more widespread than I perceive.

    What I had in mind, though, when I wrote that first paragraph was the widespread availability of pirated Hollywood movies and TV series, which must be a sore point between Thai officials and the MPA.

    Indeed, on the very day that World Intellectual Property Day was observed in Thailand, I coincidentally happened to be on a prominent downtown Bangkok thoroughfare, minding my own business, when I observed that the DVD vendors were very busy. They also had Korean, Chinese/Hong Kong and Japanese movies and TV series for sale. In a brief glance at one stall, I even saw a couple of titles by a well-known Thai independent arthouse director.

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