Warner Bros’ interest in Sri Lanka for film locations – a boost for tourism

Warner Brothers Pictures - World Wide Locations Executive Bill Bowling has informed Sri Lanka Consul General in Los Angeles that four companies have indicated that they will be travelling to Sri Lanka to select film locations, said a communiqué, issued by the London Office of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. "Tourism will gain important mileage, when proposed plans come through.It will help Sri Lanka tourism to deal with the issue of uncertainty that prevails in the minds of indecisive tourists, " said Renton de Alwis, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board.

"Four Hollywood companies have agreed to go to the island to investigate appropriate locations," said Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka Consul General in Los Angeles, who met Bill Bowling at ‘Focus Sri Lanka’ trade exhibition in LA. ‘Focus Sri Lanka’ felicitated child star Sarala for her incredible performance in Deepa Mehta’s ‘Water’ which earned her the international award of ‘Best Child Actor’ presented by Hollywood’s Young Artists’ Foundation. Sarala drew Hollywood film makers to the fair, and the film’s location ‘Bolgoda’ also earned high publicity.

‘Water’, which earned an Oscar nomination this year was the latest film to have been produced on location in Sri Lanka. It was not only praised for its cinematic value for telling the pathetic story of the Indian widow of the 1930s, but earned laurels for talented Sri Lankan child star Sarala, for her brilliant portrayal of the child widow.

The award winning movie also drew the attention of the viewers to the scenic beauty of the location it was shot - the Bolgoda lake, and its idyllic surroundings – gaining publicity for Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Consul General mentioned that Bill Bowling and representatives of the interested companies are expected to come to Sri Lanka before the end of September and affirmed: "The location team executives will be provided with all necessary assistance to meet people, to find locations that suit their needs and also make their stay in Sri Lanka a comfortable and pleasant one."

Bowling reportedly told Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Bernard Goonetilleke, the Sri Lankan ambassador, who was also present at the show, that they already knew the value of Sri Lanka as a locationthrough Hollywood epics ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Temple of the Doom’, ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ and ‘Elephant Walk’.

"Film makers, once again looking to Sri Lanka for locations, will give the much needed boost to the tourism industry and seeing on film the beauty of Sri Lanka is a definite lure to wooing travellers," opined Sri Lanka Tourism chief de Alwis.


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