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Coastal Catch

Known for its sapphire waters and golden sand, Thailand is a popular destination for Hindi filmmakers. It’s economical and offers a colourful canvas of locations

Thailand, officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is located at the centre of the Indo-China peninsula in South-East Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma.

Thailand’s beaches are mythical: tall palms angle over pearlescent sand and coral gardens flourish in the shallow seas. With a long coastline and jungle-topped islands anchored in sapphire waters, Thailand its a dream location for filmmakers. Between the kissing of the sea and sky are dramatic limestone mountains standing sentinel.

The celestial world is a close confidant in this Buddhist nation, where religious devotion is a colourful and ubiquitous spectacle. Gleaming temples and golden Buddhas frame both the rural and modern landscape. The Thai’s ongoing dialogue with the divine, anchors the day-to-day chaos to a solid base of tranquility.

You can find almost any kind of location in Thailand: thick jungle, crystal blue waters and busy city life. Exotic yet safe, cheap yet equipped with every modern amenity you need for a comfortable shooting schedule, there is something for every price, from beachfront backpacker bungalows to some of the best luxury hotels in the world.

Filming Requirements

Foreign filmmakers are required to hire a local coordinator (company or individual) who is officially registered with the Thailand Film Office, Office of Tourism Development. Each coordinator must represent the foreign filmmaker for obtaining permits. They are also responsible for representing the film company in any matter arising both during and after the completion of shooting in Thailand.

Once you have chosen and hired a local coordinator, they will help you compile the documents to present to the Thailand Film Office on your behalf.

When a permit is granted, a Monitoring Officer will be appointed by the Thailand Film Office who is sent from the government agencies concerned, to monitor and give advice on location. He/she will apply a signed sticker to all film/tape used, confirming that the content has been officially monitored. Filming is not allowed, under any circumstances, without acknowledgement of the Monitoring Officer.

There is no permit fee, service charge or cash guarantee needed to complete the application process. But the filmmaker is required to pay a per diem to the Monitoring Officer, a sum of 2,000 baht per day/person.

Documents Required

A letter made by the assigned local coordinator, informing the Director-General of the Office of Tourism Development for the purpose of applying for a shooting permit. An assignment letter made by the foreign filmmaker, showing they have chosen and hired a local coordinator.

Supporting documents needed for permit consideration

• Storyboard for the scenes to be shot

• Theme (concept) and lyrics for song sequences

• Details of content and objectives of program presentation for TV programmes

• A schedule of filming in Thailand specifying exact dates and locations

• Name list, passport numbers, positions and arrival dates of foreign film crews

Tax Services

Thailand has been signing the Double Taxation Treaty with a number of countries. The Treaty is designed to prevent foreign filmmakers of member countries from being taxed twice in Thailand and again in their home country. In general, all income earned in Thailand is subject to a personal income tax ranging from 5 to 37 per cent for an individual depending on his/her incomes; and 30 per cent corporate income tax of the corporation net income. Foreign actors and actresses enjoy a privilege of 10 per cent flat tax rate for their income earned here.

Main Destinations

Bangkok: Thailand’s bustling, frenetic capital, known among the Thai as Krung Thep

Pattaya: One of the main tourist destinations, known for its rough nightlife

Ayutthaya: A historical city, UNESCO World Heritage Site and old capital of Siam

Ko Chang: Once a quiet island, now undergoing major tourism development

Ko Samui: Comfortable, nature and entertainment hippie Mecca gone upmarket

Phuket: The original Thai paradise island, with some beautiful beaches

Krabi Province: Beach and watersports Mecca in the south, includes Ao Nang, Rai Leh, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta

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