Many Thai movie directors, playwrights, actors, actresses, along with other people in movie industry, have used social media to withdraw from being nominated in the Suphannahong National Film Awards, as the National Federation of Motion Pictures and Contents Association announces new criteria for the nomination of movies, which will automatically rule out low-budget and independent movies.
The new criteria stipulate that:
- Movies must be shown in cinemas, movies distributed on streaming platforms only do not qualify.
- Movies must be in shown cinemas in 5 regions of Thailand or in big cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Nakhon Ratchasima and Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
- Audiences amount to 50,000 people or more.
This means that independent movies, as well as the people who work to create a variety of choice for Thai audiences, will not qualify for nomination. These new criteria have also sparked controversy and questions over whether the awards are just favoring the two big cinema groups, Major Cinemas and SF Cinemas, by only allowing movies that are backed by and shown in these two cinema chains to win awards.
Vice President of the National Federation of Motion Pictures and Content Association, Adisak Limparungpatanakij, resigned from the association in protest against the new rules.
Thai audiences also lit up the twitter to support Thailand’s movie industry, by questioning whether the National Federation of Motion Pictures and Content Association did this to promote monopolisation.
Subsequently, the SF cinema chain issued a press release stating that they support all Thai movies, including independent productions, to raise the standard of the Thai movie industry. They believe that all movies should be assessed under just and inclusive criteria.