Pattaya studies strategies to become U.N. ‘city of film’


Pattaya officials continued their push to transform Pattaya into a “city of film,” holding another meeting to plan steps needed to win the United Nations designation.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh hosted the Sept. 7 hearing, which brought back Burapha University’s Naowasit Rakbumrung to speak for the second time in a month, along with the school’s consultant on strategic planning and development, Priyaporn Sukhsakul.

Piyaporn said Pattaya should plan to spend five years developing the facilities and attractions to win the UNESCO “city of film” award already given to Sydney, Australia and to Bradford, England.

Priyaporn Sukhsuko addresses the meeting held at Pattaya City Hall, Friday, Sept. 7. Priyaporn Sukhsuko addresses the meeting held at Pattaya City Hall, Friday, Sept. 7.

Film is one of seven categories established by UNESCO’s Cultural Cities Network to honor “centers of excellence” in literature, music, crafts and folk art, design, media arts, gastronomy and film.  UNESCO says a city of film must have “notable infrastructure related to film-making,” such as movie studios; “notable links to the production, distribution and commercialization of films,” and “cinematographic legacy,” such as archives, museums and private collections

Currently, Pattaya has none of that but Piyaporn outlined five strategies to try and change the situation.

Firstly, she said, Pattaya needs to build an image palatable to the film industry.  Simply claiming the city is Thailand’s top tourist destination was not sufficient for UNESCO when Pattaya officials unsuccessfully applied a year ago.

Other strategies including providing facilities needed by the film industry, as well as fixing basic things, such as the city’s utilities.

Pattaya, she said, also needs to offer and support film education, persuade the Thai film industry to make Pattaya its base for filming, script development and international film festivals.  Finally, Piyaporn said, the city needs to work together to push the proposals forward by 2018.