Three Thai filmcompanies - GMM Pictures, Tai Entertainment and Hub Ho Hin - are joining forcesto create a production powerhouse in response to increasing competition in thefast-growing Thai market.

The new company -GMM Tai Hub (GTH) - was unveiled in Bangkok on Friday along with its initialslate of 10 projects. GMM will hold a 51% stake in the company, while Tai has30% and Hub Ho Hin has a 19% stake. The founder of GMM Pictures, Phaiboon Damrongchaiyatham, has been appointed as chairman and TaiEntertainment managing director Visute Poolvoralaks is the CEO.

Director JiraMaligool, who founded film and TV commercials production house Hub Ho Hin, hasbeen appointed as GTH's head of creative and development. Hub Ho Hin co-founderYongyooth Thongkonthun has been appointed head of marketing, promotion andinternational.

GMM Pictures, asubsidiary of Thailand's biggest entertainment conglomerate GMM Grammy, rampedup production three years ago when the domestic film industry started to grow.The company has credits including BeautifulBoxer and Mekhong Full Moon Partyand co-produced last year's biggest domestic film, My Girl (Fan Chan), with Tai and Hub Ho Hin.

"We have all theright ingredients in this joint venture as each of the three companies has its ownstrengths," said Phaiboon Damrongchaiyatham in astatement. In addition to film production, Grammy owns media and managesactors and singers, Tai has more than 20 years experience in film marketing andHub Ho Hin is one of the country's leading production houses.

The company's debutslate includes two projects from cult director Yuthlert Sippapak, black comedy Pattaya Paradise and a sequel to horrorfilm Buppah Rahtree. Yongyooth isattached to direct action comedy Jaewabout a swat team that goes undercover as servants while Jira will direct dramaThe Mine.

Meanwhile, GMMGrammy has also set up a production unit - Thailand Independent Filmmakers'Alliance (TIFA) - which has a focus on new talent and internationalco-production. The company, which is headed by filmmaker Pantham Thongsang, iscurrently developing five projects. Its first production was Cannes competitionentry Tropical Malady, directed byApichatpong Weerasethakul.

Grammy is providingthe new outfit's overhead but it's free to raise finance from other domesticand international sources. "We're looking for investors which are a good fitwith the vision of our directors," Pantham said.