Thailand's status as an international shooting hub was given a further boost with the opening of a new 500m baht ($15m) studio by Workpoint Entertainment.

The purpose-built studio consists of five NC 30-approved soundstages, one of which is the largest in Asia with 1,760 sq in size. The fully air-conditioned studio has a combined area of 4,372 sq m with facilities for sound recording, editing, post-production and casting.

Workpoint, a publicly listed TV production company, raised the capital for building the studio mainly through an IPO listing in Thailand three years ago. The studio is located in Bangkok about 20 minute-drive from the Donmuang International Airport.

Opened last October, the studio first played host to international TV commercial shoots. Currently shooting at the studio is Teng Nong Konmahahia, a Thai action comedy produced by Workpoint's new wholly-owned subsidiary Hua Film Thai Film in collaboration with Sahamongkolfilm International, which also handles distribution.

The new picture is directed by Chusak Eiamsuk and Phongsak Phongsuwan, the stars of last year's box office hit Nong Teng Nakleng-pukaotong. The latter was directed by Panich Sodsee who is now Hua Film chief and is attending Filmart in Hong Kong for the first time to promote the studio with the aim of attracting international shoots.

Meanwhile, the Thailand Film Office which promotes the country as a prime shooting destination takes part at Hong Kong Filmart's Locations World, a location trade show held for the first time in Hong Kong for film commissions worldwide.