Bollywood trains cameras on Thailand

MUMBAI: Bollywood, ever in search of exotic locales, seems to be setting its sights on Thailand. E Niwas’ De Taali and Nagesh Kukunoor’s Bombay to Bangkok are two forthcoming films, which will be shot in the country.

Thailand too is keen to welcome Bollywood with open arms. In 2006, of the 450 foreign film productions produced in Thailand, 79 were from India. These included ads, music videos, short films and feature films.
In the most recent and enterprising Thailand – Bollywood connection, Mukta Searchlight Films’ Bombay to Bangkok will be extensively shot in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. In fact, it was the city itself that inspired director Nagesh Kukunoor to script his film. He says, “As a frequent visitor to Thailand, I truly enjoyed the place. During my research, I found that Indians and Thais are ‘same same but different’ (which incidentally, is the tagline of Bombay to Bangkok). It was with this basic concept that I wrote Bombay to Bangkok as a romantic comedy.” 

Ghai’s earlier film, 36 China Town too was shot in Thailand. In recent times, films like Kaal and Anthony Kaun Hai have been shot in Thai cities. While Kaal was billed Rs 10 million (Rs one crore) for a 10 day shooting schedule, Anthony Kaun Hai was shot for a period of 30 days for Rs 16 million (Rs 1.6 crore).

“The rates differ on the basis of the script, producer and scale of the film. Another factor that determines the rates is how well our country is projected in the film,” says Thai Consulate General Jesada Chavarnbhark.

Chavarnbhark, who was present at the launch of Bombay to Bangkok says that if a documentary or commercial film is to be shot in Thailand, the relevant permissions can be obtained within one day.

Currently, the country does not offer rebates or subsidies to filmmakers, but will soon chalk out plans and rates that will make Thailand an enterprising destination for Bollywood filmmakers.