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Applying for Filming Permits in Thailand

Hire a local film coordinator to apply for a filming permit In order to film in Thailand, foreign filmmakers are required to hire the services of a local film coordinator (individual or company) who is registered with the Office of Tourism Development as well as the Thailand Film Office. A local film coordinator must, on behalf of the foreign filmmaker, obtaining all necessary filming permits. That’s not all, this coordinator is liable on behalf of the foreign filmmaker on matters that may or may not arise during as well as after the shoots’ completion.



Once a local film coordinator has been picked and hired, their first task is to assist the foreign filmmaker in putting together the necessary documents that are to be presented to the Thailand Film Office on the foreign filmmaker’s behalf. Payment for the local film coordinator’s services is as agreed upon between the foreign filmmaker and the said coordinator. The Thailand Film Office has nothing to do with this arrangement and therefore has no say over the service rates either.


The filming permit A filming permit enables foreign filmmakers to film in Thailand. Having said that, filming in Thailand’s special locations like National Parks and Historical Parks may require separate permits. All filming permits and necessary legal arrangements must be made as much in advance of the filming dates as possible. Film production companies filming Documentaries, TV commercials, TV programmes and Music Videos must apply for their filming permit at a One-Stop Service Center that guarantees a 3-working-day period for the completion of the application process. For productions like Docudramas, Feature Films, Mini Series and TV dramas, applications at the Thailand Film office must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the filming date as approval for the script must be granted by the Film Board Committee during that time as well.

Applying for a filming permit at the One-Stop Service Center Successfully submitted applications at the One-Stop Service Center have the potential to grant a filmmaker the following permissions – permission to film, to work, to film in Historical Parks (if needed), and to film in National Parks (if needed). A filmmaker must however note that the One-Stop Service Center permission is only granted for shoots that last a maximum of 15 calendar days and is non-renewable.

Documents needed (Original plus 6 copies of each): –

  1. A letter drafted by the appointed local film coordinator, notifying the Office of Tourism Development’s Director-General about the foreign filmmaker’s purpose of seeking a filming permit.

  2. An appointment letter drafted by the foreign filmmaker, stating that they have selected and hired a local film coordinator.

  3. An application form.

  4. The following supporting documents are required in order for your application to be considered: 1. A Storyboard in the case of a TV commercial, 2. Treatment in the case of documentaries, 3. The Lyrics and Theme (concept) in the case of music videos, and 4. The objectives of the programme and details of content with respect to TV programmes.

  5. A detailed schedule of filming dates and locations in Thailand. (for any type of production)

  6. Passport numbers, list of names, titles and the arrival dates of the foreign filming crew members.


The process: – The local film coordinator must fill, with due diligence, a general application form to help grant the foreign filmmaker the following permissions: 1. A filming permit, 2. Work permits, 3. Permits from the Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, and National Parks, if filming is to be carried out in their jurisdiction, 4. A permit granted by the Fine Arts Department, in cases where filming is to be carried out in their property. Additional forms administered by the Fine Arts Department, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, and National Parks must be completed and submitted, wherever applicable. Once this application is submitted, an official cross-checks all documents and, in some cases, may ask for additional details. In cases where the documents are not complete, the official hands them back to the local film coordinator to correct and resubmit once the desired changes are made. On completion of the document as per the official’s satisfaction, the case is then registered and the procedure to consider the application commences. Kindly Note that when filming in historical sites, approval must be granted by the Fine Arts Department in advance i.e. before submitting the application for a filming permit at the One-Stop Service Center. In cases where there are amendments in a foreign filmmaker’s filming dates or other such related activities, another form stating the amendments like the reduction or extension of schedule and change or cancellation of location must be filled. This form must then be submitted at least 1 day prior to the first filming date at the One-Stop Service Center. When filming productions like Feature Films, TV Dramas, Docudramas and Mini Series’, the local film coordinator must apply for a filming permit at the Thailand Film Office.

Once the filming permit is granted When a filming permit is granted, the Thailand Film Office will appoint a Monitoring Officer who acts as a representative of the concerned government departments to monitor shooting locations as well as impart advice where needed. One of the monitoring officer’s main jobs is to place a signed sticker on each of the tapes/films being used so as to confirm that its content has been monitored officially. Be advised that filming, under any circumstance, without a filming permit together with the consent of the Monitoring Officer is not allowed. There is no filming permit fee, cash guarantee (bond) or service charge needed to conclude the application process. However, foreign filmmakers are required to pay a sum of 2,000 THB per day to the Monitoring Officer for their service.


Applying for a filming permit at the Thailand Film Office

While applying for a filming permit in the case of Feature Films, TV Dramas, Docudramas, and Mini Series’ at the Thailand Film Office, one must hire a local film coordinator especially for big productions where the shooting schedule is in excess of 15 days.

Documents needed (Original plus 25 copies of each): –

  1. A letter drafted by the appointed local film coordinator, notifying the Office of Tourism Development’s Director-General about the foreign filmmaker’s purpose of seeking a filming permit.

  2. An appointment letter drafted by the foreign filmmaker, stating that they have selected and hired a local film coordinator.

  3. An application form.

  4. The following supporting documents are required in order for your application, to grant you a filming permit, to be considered: 1. A synopsis, 2. A full script, and 3. A treatment.

  5. A detailed schedule of filming dates and locations in Thailand.

  6. Passport numbers, list of names, titles and the arrival dates of the foreign filming crew members.

Once the complete set of documents are sent to the Thailand Film Office, it takes a maximum of 14 working days to be awarded a filming permit as additional script approval must be granted by the Film Board Committee. In cases wherein the script is disapproved, the Film Board Committee may request the filmmaker to amend it.


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