The Tourism Authority ofThailand (TAT) has terminated its contract with Film Festival Management (FFM),the US consulting firm that TAT hired for managing theBangkok International Film Festival (BKKIFF), as a result of a considerablebudget cut.

The budget for the nextedition (January 26 - February 5, 2007) has been cut back to $3.6m (130m baht),approximately 27% less than the last edition, according Chattan Kunjara NaAyudhya, director of TAT's international public relations who also assumes therole of co-festival director.

"Budget has been difficultfor the next edition. After talking to FFM, we feel that it's better to go byourselves. We'll not continue working together purely because of the budgetsituation. It has nothing to do with FFM which has a good relationship withTAT," he says.

TAT is now in talks with anumber of Thai individuals for the role of festival director. An appointment isexpected within the next two weeks.