Friday, July 3, 2009

A new era for Thailand's National Film Archive

It's official. Thailand's National Film Archive has become a public organization, effective as of a Royal Gazette entry on June 22.

It's a promotion up the bureaucratic chain in the Ministry of Culture that could mean the Archive can move more quickly and more effectively to save what's left of Thailand's withering cinematic heritage.

Kong Rithdee has more from Culture Minister Teera Slukpetch in today's Bangkok Post. Here's a snip:

Before, the Film Archive was under the Ministry of Culture's Fine Arts Department. Under the new structure, the Film Archive reports directly to the minister, and it will likely receive more funding that will allow it to function properly as an institution to preserve, conserve and restore the national heritage in the form of moving pictures.

Led by Dome Sukwong, the National Film Archive has struggled for eight years to upgrade its status, but has had its moves thwarted by dithering, indifferent politicians and unstable governments. Meanwhile, precious footage of old Thai films has rotted away in the blazing tropical heat because the tiny Archive lacked the facilities to properly preserve everything.

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