Sand and screens: Pattaya Film Festival makes waves with free beachfront cinema

The leading actress, Pitchanart Sakhakorn, from Thai movie named Sai Lor Fah or Pattaya Maniac. | Photo via Pattaya FILM Festival

The Pattaya Film Festival 2023 is set to captivate cinephiles with its unique offering of free entry to watch movies on Pattaya Beach from June 16 to 19. This groundbreaking event marks the festival’s first venture into transforming the beach into an enchanting outdoor cinema.

With a clear vision of becoming a member of the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Network by 2027, Pattaya City has forged a collaboration with the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), the Thai Film Archive, and the Ministry of Culture to launch the highly anticipated Pattaya Film Festival this year.

To kickstart the festivities, the organizers have curated the Pattaya Documentary Pitch competition, tailor-made for aspiring filmmakers and documentary enthusiasts. From Thursday, June 15 to 19, participants will have the extraordinary opportunity to immerse themselves in a comprehensive five-day workshop led by renowned global experts in the field of documentary filmmaking.

The festival starts by inviting film enthusiasts to participate in the exhilarating Pattaya Documentary Pitch competition. Throughout the workshop, held from June 15 to 19, participants will receive invaluable guidance from world-class experts and hone their documentary plots to perfection. The culmination of the workshop will see each participant presenting their compelling documentary pitch, showcasing their creative vision and storytelling prowess. The most outstanding entry will be awarded a prestigious prize of up to 200,000 baht.

For avid movie lovers, the festival promises an exceptional cinematic experience with a rich and diverse selection of both Thai and international films, presented free of charge. Screenings will take place at various esteemed venues, including the SF Cinema at Central Marina Pattaya, the Mahatai Pattaya Convention Center, and the iconic North Pattaya Beach, which has previously played host to the renowned Pattaya Music Festival.

The film programme includes:

  • International Competition: This programme features seven films that have never been screened in Thailand before.
  • Cinema Multiverse: The session offers classic movies with the collection boasting timeless masterpieces such as “Return to Seoul,” “Leonor Will Never Die,” “The Crossing,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Casablanca,” and “Superman.”
  • Pattaya Movie on the Beach: Thai and international movies to celebrate Pride Month will be screened together with films that showcase Pattaya as a backdrop.
  • School Cinema: Ensuring that cinema is an enjoyable experience for all ages, this section welcomes both children and adults to revel in a selection of child-friendly films at Nahatai Convention Centre.

The schedule of each movie and ticket reservation details can be reached via the festival’s official Facebook page. No reservation is needed for the Pattaya Movie on the Beach programme.

Aside from the film festival, the Mayor of Pattaya City also invites visitors to enjoy the events this month. For example, Pattaya Festival on Pattaya Beach on June 23, Pattaya International Pride Festival 2023 and Pattaya Festival Parade Finale on June 24 and Pattaya Beach Game from June 30 to July 9.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at