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The Thai Film Archive or หอภาพยนตร์ (องค์การมหาชน)
includes a Film Museum at the compound in Salaya.
It is always a pleasure to go to Thai film Archive and see the colorful and old
Sri Salaya theater.
The Thai Film museum deals about
Thai cinema history. Thai full address is
ถนนพุทธมณฑล สาย 5 จังหวัดนครปฐม.
In front of Thai film Archive, Thai movies stars made their hand,
feet prints on the concrete ground
The Thai Film Archive features small buildings in Salaya area,
including an old cinema and a film museum.
There were many novelties in year 2011 in Thai film Archive.
There is now an old and beautiful steam locomotive.
The shop selling books and movies has been improved. New books
are always available. In year 2012 a new book about Dokdin Kanyaman
was on sale. The shop is still selling many old titles from Phanmitr "movie in my heart" collection.
Some strange alien is also present in Thai film Archive garden.
The alien is part of the Thai movie "Cool Gel Attack"
Thai Film Archive were funded by chief Archivist
Dome Sukavong in year 1984. In year 2009,
the Thai Film Archive were declared a Public Organisation.
Previously it was a neglected unit in the Department of Fine Arts.
Dome Sukavong has been named the first Director of the Thai Film Archive.
After World War II, such car selling medicine (รถฉายหนังขายยา)
were roaming in Thai provinces. They were projecting movies in remote villages and were
selling medicine during breaks. They remained popular until year
1977 when television sets started to spread all over Thailand.
Over 25 years Thai Film Archive has collected and restored
nearly 10 000 movies that serve to tell the social history of Thailand.
In year 1981 Dome Sukavong found out that there were no film department.
Such cars were a good concept as they produced electricy to play movies
images, played sound, performed advertisements and sold medicines.
In year 1983, as Dome Sukavong came back
from Sweden with a lost footage of King Rama V's royal visit to Europe, the Thai government
was convinced to fund the National Film Archive as a unit in the Department of Fine Arts.
But the unit remained neglected and the annual budget was not enough to perform restoration duty.
Thai cinema conservation never got much interest from Thai government as movies were only considered
as basic and cheap entertainment ("NAM NAO" - น้ำเน่า - polluted water
to convey their state of rotten stillness). Cultural aspect documentary aspect study was not considered.
The car selling medicine located at Thai Film Archive is quite unique. It is
old and was formally a Thai army jeep. It was offered to Thai Film Archive.
Thai Film Archive can restore but to sell
old movies is not totally up to them. People keep asking some old movies
such as "The Scar" but the owner refuses to release DVD so nothing they can do.
Then people go for bootleg DVD. Nobody wants to buy bootleg but how can you
do if owner refuses to release rights for official selling?
In front of Thai film Archive, Thai movies stars made their hand,
feet prints on the concrete ground such as Sorapong Chatree
Some Thai fans complain Thai Film Archive is a bit
too far away from Bangkok. Few Bangkokian people want to take a bus for 2 hours
to see an old movie they didn't even heard the title before. Thai Film Archive
could not afford such big piece of land in Bangkok!
This picture shows hand and feet prints done by Thai famous
actor Sombat Methanee. Such ceremony happens in average every two months.
Dome Sukavong was pushing for the construction of a 800-million-baht central facility
or Cinematheque similar to Hong Kong Film Archive building. The new building would include
a cinema, film school, libraries, exhibition space and hospital for ageing celluloid.
The library could include 10 000 books. Individual small rooms for film watching study would
be available. Decision was awaited in year 2012.
The Thai Film Archive includes a Cinema museum, a safe for film archives,
a study room and a library with many books related to cinema.
Free classic movies are shown every Saturday and Sunday. The Thai Film
Archive includes a huge collection of still pictures.
Ms Chalida Uabumrungjit joined Thai Film Archive as full time since year
2011. She has always promoted and presented Thai Short
Film Festival (the biggest Thai national short film competition) every year and
she also presents Thai films in many festivals abroad.
Thai Film Archive has many new projects such as Film Rescue,
Film Academy to teach new film makers.
The 16mm era film was shot on reversal and has only one copy to tour around the country
so it often came to Thai Film Archive in very bad shape. Most of the films in that period
that we have are not in good quality.
Thai Film Archive had a DVD list since year
2012. Not all films in their collection are ready for
transfer. Thai Film Archive acquired a new scanner in year 2012.
Not far from Thai Film Archive, there is also Yodchai Meksuwan's museum.
Yodchai was a famous Thai actor during years 1971-1977.
With current budget, Thai Film Archive can only receive films in donations.
Next step would be to buy movies. Thai feature films from 1927 to nowadays include more than
4 000 titles. Thai Film Archive has just 2 000 titles. During year 2011,
Thai Film Archive got the budget for the storage, i.e. a chamber guaranteeing a temperature of
15 to 20 degrees to keep movies safe. Thai Film Archive owns 20 000 movies (feature films, news,
family films) and 100 000 reels. More than 500 master copies of classic films dating back 60 years
were endangered without a climate controlled storage.
Thai Film Archive has built various buildings
symbolising Thai and overseas cinema history in year 2013.
Those old posters belong to movies from 1950s decade. Thai movies before 1960s are
very difficult to find nowadays. Few are left.
Those old buildings representations are gathered in a place called
"MEUANG MAYA" / "MAYA CITY" - เมืองมายา.
There are old hotel, old French cafe, old theater...
This is an old door representation from Rama V period. This symbol was used in early
This old building represents a theater from Rama IV period. It includes
a shop to buy souvenirs, movies, books. It also includes a help desk if
any information is required. The shop was previously inside the Salaya theater.
Upgraded Thai Film Archive was under construction in years 2015 and 2016.
The new building will be finished in year 2017.
This new building allows a film storage at 4°C.
In year 2015 Thai Film Archive
had 80 staff including 50% as contractors.
Thai Film Archive has issues with copyrights owners in order to show movies online.
They have only some agreement to show them in the compound.
Thai Film Archive's collections include 50.000 TV news, 8.000 documentaries,
100.000 videos, 200 scripts, 700 music discs. There are around 1500 Thai films (16mm, 35mm).
One of the most recent findings by Thai Film Archive is Thai movie "Santi-Vina"
found in Russia and China. To fully restore a 16mm movie can take months. Many years
ago, Thai Film Archive got movies from HK laboratories such as Mandarin Laboratory and
Union Film Laboratory.
Sometimes Thai Film Archive does seek help from
collectors but still needs to show them that they can do better.
The team working on movie preservation is working during two years in container
offices until the new building is ready. 20 people are part of the preservation team.