Sri Lanka Tourism issued a press communiqué that stated it participated at the India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) 2018, India’s leading film location fair, in a bid to capitalize on its potential as a filming location for Indian cinema.
The event was held from 1-3 March at the Marriott Hotel, Juhu, for the 5th consecutive year. A number of high-profile Indian film directors participated in the three-day event, including Tharun Masukhani, known for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, 1998 and Kal Ho Naa Ho, 2003; Kunal Kohil, known for Hum Tum, 2004 and Fanaa, 2012; Imtiaz Ali, known for Jab We Me, 2007 and Rockstar, 2011; alongside David Dhawan, Allu Arvind, KV Anand and other high-level directors, who visited Sri Lanka Tourism’s promotional stall.
Vying for visitor interest with 20 other competitive destinations, Sri Lanka Tourism showcased its breathtaking locations to leading film producers across India’s film industries, including the Bollywood, Kollywood (Chennai), Marathi and Bengali sectors, among others.
Sri Lanka Tourism stated that its presentation received a very positive response from visitors and even competitors, who were amazed by the beauty of the country.
The presentation also gave Sri Lanke Tourism a chance to highlight that Sri Lanka is less than 2,500km away from Bollywood and the two locations are well-connected by frequent flights, making it ideal for filming purposes.
It is expected that the number of Indian film productions in Sri Lanka will increase over the next few years, as more producers take advantage of the opportunities offered by a depreciated LKR, a dynamic visa process, zero cultural shock and a rich local film industry equipped with European-standard production equipment. Sri Lanka Consulate General for Mumbai, Saroja Sirisena, alongside respective members of the Sri Lanka mission in Mumbai, India, offered their maximum support to Sri Lanka Tourism. The delegation which represented Sri Lanka included renowned international film and commercial producers such as Chandran Rutnam of Asian Film Location Services (Pvt) Ltd; Rasitha Jinasena, Shy Entertainers (Pvt) Ltd; Priyanga T Kumarasiri, crew for shoots; and Thishantha Shyaman Premasundar, Frames TV and Film Production.
During the Sri Lanka destination presentation, industry veteran Chandran Rutnam stated that, “As a compact destination with various natural and manmade wonders located just a few kilometres away from each other, Sri Lanka is a perfect contender to compete for Indian Cinema as a rich and diversified locations provider for various Indian films.”
One of the world’s busiest film industries, the Indian silver screen sees an average of roughly 2,000 films made annually in various local languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Telengu and Bengali, and is also one of the fastest growing industries in modern India to date.
Over the years, the Indian cinema industry has been contributing to India’s national economy as well as other international destinations. With its rising influence on foreign economies, the Indian film industry creates new opportunities for hosting countries in its efforts to explore overseas filming locations.
The international Travel and Tourism sector has directly benefited through Indian Film Tourism. Characterized by its emotionally-connected, die-hard fan base, India’s film industry has influenced movie-goers to travel abroad to see the locations their favourite movies were filmed. Sri Lanka Tourism hopes to take full advantage of this with its close proximity to Bollywood Cinema, bringing in both artistes and their audiences alike to boost the country’s burgeoning tourism industry.