SL Tourism kicks off film tourism promotions within Indian Cinema to attract more Indian tourists to the island

(L-R): Ms. Upasana Mittal, Creative Director of Innovative Film Academy; Ravi Kottarakara, Secretary General of the Film Federation; Shyaman Premasudra, Founder / Line Producer Frames Films & TV Productions; Chaminda Munasighe, Assistant Director Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB); Saravana Prasad, Founder, Director Innovative Film Academy; Dr. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Chennai; Dilanga Hettiarachchi, Third Secretary (Commercial) of the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission; and Alankar Pandian, Commercial Director, The NRI & Corporateer STORY.

The Indian Cinema is considered to be one of the busiest entertainment industries in the world by making over 2000 films per annum. While Mumbai based ‘Bollywood’ leading the table (15 % from all Indian film productions), collectively Southern Indian Cinema contributing a higher proportion of film productions (Telugu 14%, Tamil 12%, Kannada 12%, Malayalam 11 %).

In 2015, Indian Cinema had the box office gross of USD 2.1 Billion, which is the third largest in the world. Overall revenue in 2019 was USD 2.7 Billion. The combined revenue of Southern Indian Cinema Industry (Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam film industries) represent over 50-60 % of the total revenue of Indian cinema.

In recent years, the industry trend of shooting Indian films board has taken attention of many international destinations. As it is contributing a lot to their local economies, many international destinations are competing to attract Indian films to film in their locations by offering various incentives and destination promotional packages.

Such films shot abroad:  Kabali (Tamil), Singaporenalli Raja Kulla (Kannada), Orange (Telugu), Diamond Necklace (Malayalam), Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Hindi), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Hindi) had a great attention from the local Indian fans while making commercial success.  Growing number of Indian film directors are in search of fresh international destinations to shoot their upcoming films.

In fact, famous Indian film directress Zoya Akthar visited Sri Lanka in the month of October 2021 in search of fresh locations for her upcoming movie. Directress of Gully Boy (Main Cast: Ranveer Singh  & Alia Bhatt) , Dil Dhadakne Do (Main Cast :  Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma) and many other blockbuster films , arrival of Zoya Akthar shows the film tourism  potential  lies in with  destination Sri Lanka.

Having an emotionally-connected die-hard fan base, Indian cinema influences its millions of fans to travel abroad and experience the moments in the exact location where their favorite films have been shot.

Exploring potential opportunities in South Indian Cinema Industry, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau together with Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai have organized the first-ever film tourism promotion in Bangalore (Kannada) by taking part of the 4th Edition of the Innovative International Film Festival (IIFF) which was held at JW Marriot Hotel & Innovative Multiplex theater in Bangalore from 14th to 17th October 2021. IIFF is one of the biggest and prestigious international film festivals in South India to promote the filming locations of international countries.

IIFF`s 4th Edition was turned out by leading filmmakers, celebrities, directors, producers, film associations & diplomats from 30 heterogeneous countries, and 75 international movies from participant countries were screened in 45 languages.

Commencing the Sri Lankan session at the event, Dr. Venkateshwaran, the Deputy High Commissioner, given the impetus to the distinguished gathering, highlighted why Sri Lanka should be selected as their favorite film destination country.

Followed by his remarks, the five-member Sri Lankan delegation, including Chaminda Munasinghe, Assistant Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau;  Shyaman Premasundara, Film Director, Frames TV & Films; Yasas Rathnayake, Director & Producer Circle 360;  Priyanga Kumarasiri, Producer, Crew for Shoots; and Chathra Dias Weeraman, Film Director, made a comprehensive presentation elaborating the history of shooting international films in Sri Lanka, Island`s scenery destinations, availability of sophisticated infrastructure facilities and concessions/sops given for the international filmmakers.

The four-day festival concluded with a fascinated closing ceremony with the participation of diplomats, government officials, industry professionals, and participant countries` representations.

Joining the Sri Lankan session, Allu Aravind, an eminent & illustrious film producer in Telugu cinema had a cordial interaction and upon the Deputy High Commissioner`s invitation to visit Sri Lanka, he expressed his desire to explore Sri Lanka for his upcoming creations.

During the Ceremony, the newest Sinhala Movie called ‘AYU’ which was directed by Mr. Chathra Dias Weeraman was awarded as the Best Asian film.