The cinema of Thailand (Thailand Movies) dates back to the early days of filmmaking, when King Chulalongkorn’s 1897 visit to Bern, Switzerland was recorded by Francois-Henri Lavancy-Clarke. The film was then brought to Bangkok , where it was exhibited. This sparked more interest in film by the Thai Royal Family and local businessmen, who brought in filmmaking equipment and started to exhibit foreign films. By the 1920s, a local film industry was started and in the 1930s, the Thai film industry had its first “golden age”, with a number of studios producing films.
The years after the Second World War saw a resurgence of the industry, which used 16 mm film to produce hundreds of films, many of them hard-driving action films. Competition from Hollywood brought the Thai industry to a low point in the 1980s and 1990s, but by the end of the 1990s, Thailand had its “new wave”, with such directors as Nonzee Nimibutr, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul as well as action hero Tony Jaa being celebrated at film festivals around the world.