Sri Lanka showcased its potential again to become a major film attraction in South Asia with its wide diversity of picturesque locations which caters to the needs of every film director. Focusing on this growing opportunity, Sri Lanka Tourism completed its second successive year participating at India’s leading film location fair ‘India International Film Tourism Conclave’ (IIFTC 2018) which was held from 1 to 3 March at the Marriott Hotel Juhu for the fifth consecutive year.
The main purpose of participating at this event was to promote Sri Lanka as an ideal film location and further develop Sri Lanka as a film tourism hot spot to cater for the overall Indian Cinema. During this three-day event, some of the high profile film directors participated, including Tharun Mansukhani (Bollywood) Assistant Director, Screen Writer and Director, known for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) with Shahrukh Khan and Kajol and Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003). Kunal Kohil (Bollywood) – known for Hum Tum (2004), Teri Meri Kahaani (2012) and Fanaa (2006) with Amir Khan, Imtiaz Ali (Bollywood) – Jab We Met (2007). Love Aaj Kal (2009) and Rockstar (2011), David Dhawan (Bollywood), Allu Arvind (Telegu), and KV Anand (Tamil) were present at the event and visited Sri Lanka Tourism’s promotional stall located at the event.
With the participation over 20 other competitive destinations, Sri Lanka Tourism created a limelight in the event by showing breathtakingly beautiful locations of the paradise island to the leading film producers who participated from all across India representing the heart of the Indian film industry, the Bollywood cinema and the other regional industries including Kollywood (Chennai), Marathi, Bengali, etc. The destination presentation conducted by Sri Lanka Tourism took the attention of all the other competitors who looked with amazement and wonder at the breath taking beauty of the country.
The video presentations of Sri Lankan attractions and the informative brochures distributed at the Sri Lanka stall drew the attention of many visitors, and members of the film industry, highlighting the lush greenery, cultural splendour, and exquisite beaches, and many more pleasures which Sri Lanka has to offer, equipped with all the natural resources that it needs.
During the presentations, Sri Lanka Tourism further highlighted that with a distance of less than 2,500 km to the heart of Bollywood and having frequent flights from all around India to Colombo, Sri Lanka is a location that India must not neglect. Opportunities of depreciated LKR, dynamic visa process, zero cultural shock and rich local film industry equipped with European standard production equipment, the arrival of more and more Indian Cinema productions to Sri Lanka are expected to proceed through the next few years.
In addition to SLTPB ‘s efforts in the destination promotional campaign, Sri Lanka Consulate General for Mumbai, Saroja Sirisena and the 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 Ltd., Rasitha Jinasena, Shy Entertainers Ltd., Priyanga T. Kumarasiri, crew for shoots, and Thishantha Shyaman Premasundara, Frames TV and Film production.
With the participation over 20 other competitive destinations, Sri Lanka Tourism created a limelight in the event by showing breathtakingly beautiful locations of the paradise island to the Leading film producers who participated from all across India representing the heart of the Indian film industry, the Bollywood cinema and the other regional industries including Kollywood (Chennai), Marathi, Bengali, etc. The destination presentation conducted by Sri Lanka Tourism took the attention of all the other competitors who looked with amazement and wonder at the breath taking beauty of the country.
During the Sri Lanka destination presentation, industry veteran Chandran Rutnam stated, “As a compact destination with various natural and manmade wonders located just few kilometres away to each other, Sri Lanka is a perfect contender to compete for the Indian Cinema as a rich and diversified locations provider for various Indian films.”
Indian silver screen is one of the busiest film industries in the world with a production of approximately about 2000 films annually mainly through Hindi and Tamil, including other regional languages such as Thelingu, Marathi, Bengali. It is also one of the fastest growing industries in modern India to date and hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down soon.
Over the years, Indian cinema industry has been contributing a lot for national economy as well as to other international destinations. While having rising influence towards foreign economies, the interest from Indian cinema to explore new filming locations in overseas has shown significant growth by creating new opportunities for the hosting countries.
Even international travel and tourism sector has directly benefited through Indian Film Tourism. While having an emotionally connected diehard fan base, Indian cinema influence millions of fans to travel abroad to explore exact locations where their favourite films been shot. Indian cinema fans do not hesitate to gain such experience as part of their holiday experience, especially in a location which is only 2,500 km away from the heart of Bollywood Cinema.