Phuket Film Festival Looks to Aid Thai Tourism

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Wed, 02/11/2009 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

The second annual Phuket Film Festival is set for June 4-11 with a line-up of international films and activities that organizers expect to cause an up-tick in tourism numbers arriving on the island in June.
 Late last year Tourism Council of Thailand president Kongkrit Hiranyakit was quoted as saying The tourism industry is being affected by many negative issues. All players need to adjust marketing plans by turning their focus to short haul markets particularly in Asia instead of Europe and other remote markets.
 We agree with Khun Knongkrit's assessment says Scott Rosenberg managing director of AMW International the Thai organizers of the Phuket Film Festival.  But by focusing on a 'sanook' (fun) experience for all participants we think we can not only attract film enthusiasts from nearby Singapore and Malaysia but also from the Cannes Film Festival (held in France) which ends in late May. In the past Hollywood and European studio heads slipped into Thailand's high-end spas to chill after the stressful Cannes film market. We hope to attract those folks back to visit the Film Festival on Phuket
  Rosenberg also announced that a special workshop/familiarization tour would be held at the Festival between the Thai post-production services private sector the Thai government responsible for film activities in Thailand the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Culture and major international film executives in charge of green-lighting and insuring foreign location shoots.  
 Unfortunately because of recent negative activities having taken place in the Kingdom and continued negative press Thailand is on the black list for mega film project location shoots says Rosenberg. We aim to show the international film industry execs the situation here is not as bad as it has been made out to be – and there is no better way to do that than to have all the stakeholders create a dialog to discuss the situation.
  Film programming is progressing nicely with several Oscar and other Award nominated films already committed to playing the Fest. 
Our full line-up of films will be announced in late April Rosenberg says. We are honored to have acclaimed Thai film director and multi-media artist Michael Shaowanasai (Iron Pussy) programming our Alternative Lifestyle films this year. We expect that section of film to be bigger and better than last year – attracting a large audience from Europe and neighboring countries directly.