Thursday, May 27, 2010
Culture Ministry's funding for Naresuan sequels cut in half
Parts three and four of The Legend of King Naresuan historical epic by director MC Chatrichalerm Yukol will get 46 million baht instead of 100 million baht from the Culture Ministry, according to news reports today.
The level of funding had been protested by independent filmmakers, among them recent Cannes Palme d'Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul but Culture Minister Teera Slukpetch said after a House meeting that the cut came after he learned the Commerce Ministry was giving Naresuan 3 and 4 Bt330 million.
The remaining 54 million baht will be plowed back into the Culture Ministry's budget for the Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) "creative economy" stimulus plan for moving images.
The fund totalled 200 million baht, with half of it going to Naresuan. Indie filmmakers, led by Apichatpong and Manit Sriwanichpoom, protested that level of funding, saying the money would be better spent by spreading it out among more smaller projects.
The funds taken back from Naresuan might go to some of the 246 submitted projects that went unfunded, or more money might be given to some of the 48 other chosen projects, among them films by Apichatpong, Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Anocha Suwichakornpong.
Update: The Bangkok Post quotes Minister Teera: "This is not aimed at ending the allegation of special treatment. But there is an overlap between the funds from the two ministries. So the budget should be cut." And Pimpaka Towira chimes in to say there's nothing personal against Naresuan in the protest.
(Via Thai Rath, The Nation and thanks to Rikker)