Sunday, January 24, 2010

200 million baht to support moving images under 'creative economy'

Thailand's Ministry of Culture has budgeted 200 million baht under the government's Thai Khem Kaeng (ไทย เข้มแข็ง, Strong Thailand) "creative economy" scheme to fund films, television programs, animation and video games.

The plan has raised eyebrows, says film critic Kong Rithdee, writing in his Bangkok Post Saturday opinion-page column in his "capacity as a part-time filmmaker".

Here's how the 200 million baht will be doled out:

Of the 200 million baht, the National Board of Film and Television decreed last week that 160 million (or 80%) will go to support feature-length films produced by the commercial film industry; 10 million will go to independent and documentary films; 10 million will go to TV and movie series; 10 million will go to animation makers; and 10 million baht will be used to help video game designers.

In short, 80% of this "first-ever financial support from the government" will basically go to commercial, profit-seeking film studios - and likely to the special case of King Naresuan Parts III and IV, which are officially backed by the [prime minister] for their nationalist and historical values.

One condition, however, is that the studios that receive the money will have to treat it as an interest-free loan that must be returned to the state coffers; meanwhile money given to non-commercial projects and film students is a non-committal grant.

Read on for what Kong thinks about that.

(Also via Thai Audience)

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