Sri Lanka has become the new location for the Bollywood film ‘Ready’ staring Salman Khan and Asin in lead roles. “The film industry is large and this is only the start”, said line producer, CEO Film Location Services Ltd Chandran Rutnam.
Previously the Indian film industry shunned Sri Lanka as a film location due to the long running internal conflict in the island nation. But with the separatist fight coming to an end in May 2009, the Indian film industry has quickly capitalised on the beautiful scenery, lush jungles, stunning beaches and the indisputable charm Sri Lanka has to offer.
Actor Salman Khan said he was happy that he was able to convince the producers to shift the location from Mauritius to Sri Lanka where we can get everything necessary to shoot a film within two hours from India. It is easy on production as well. A lot of film shoots should happen here.
Khan said Sri Lankan technicians are great and he never saw a difference between them and the Indians.
The main actress in the film Asin said that this partnership will create positive responses. “As we are neighbouring countries and don’t feel that I am away from home”.
Director Wizcraft, Sabbas Joseph said that he was happy that IIFA has built bridges and opened opportunities for Sri Lanka and India to become closer.
Films always bond people. The beautiful locations and hospitable people will ensure that Sri Lanka is a much sort after film location in the future.
Chairman, Ceylon Film Corporation Kumar Abeysinghe said that they will spend over US$ 1/2 million. He said that all support will be given for foreign producers to shoot their films in Sri Lanka.
Rutnam said that 80 Sri Lankans are involved in the film. Though they are spending US$ 1/2 million, the benefits will be much bigger as locations will attract more tourists to the country in addition to promoting Sri Lanka as a location for films.
The movie will be filmed over a 30 day period in major locations in and around Colombo. 50 – 60% of the movie will showcase Sri Lanka.
The first day of shooting was celebrated with the blessings of Sri Lanka’s miracle doctor, Eliyantha White. In a move endorsed by the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa Dr. White will now treat all visiting Bolywood celebrities free of charge.
Producers of the movie Rajat Rawail and Kishan Kumar said: “Sri Lanka as a destination offers so much scope for film makers.
The locations are breathtaking, food exquisite, the people incredibly warm and hospitable.
It’s an exciting period in the cinematic history of Sri Lanka and we are happy to be pioneering this movement in partnership with Sri Lanka Tourism”.
Approximately 140 Indian film crew members arrived in Sri Lanka for the shoot.
However a local line producer has also come on board Rutnam to assist in the project and will provide the necessary equipment and support in addition to help identifying local skills and talent to be used in the movie.
The Director of the movie is veteran film maker Anees Bazmee who has spent a lifetime on the creative side of film making in Bollywood. He is also the main writer amongst Rajeev Kaul, Ikram Akhtar and Nisar Akhtar.
Anees has risen to be one of the most sought after writers for more than 15 years. Films directed by him have invariably been the biggest hits in which they were released – Singh is King, Benaam, Welcome, Sandwich, No Entry, Dewangee, Pyaartoh Hona He Tha, Hulchul.
As per FICCI’s survey 2.8 billion people watch a Hindi Movie in the first week of its release while 4.8 billion people worldwide watch the film in the first 15 days of its release.
The movie will be released with 2000 prints, which will be distributed in India and worldwide. It will reach out to more than 50-60 countries simultaneously. The movie will be released in July 2011 and will be premiered in Sri Lanka as well as India.