At this year’s highlight of the mobile industry calendar, the 2009 Mobile World Congress, Mobitel scooped the prize for best operator in the MOFILM 2009 awards, hosted by double academy award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, amidst worldwide competition. The award is a tribute to Mobitel’s dedication to promoting the short film genre and active role in leading local creative and film producing talent to the international stage.
This is a significant achievement for Mobitel and Sri Lanka as GSMA Mobile World Congress is the largest gathering and exhibition for the mobile industry and a congress featuring prominent Chief Executives representing mobile operators, vendors and content owners from across the world, and this was the first time ever an operator was recognized for the MOFILM Best Mobile Operator award.
Kevin Spacey commented: "MOFILM to me, is another step in that ability for people all over the world who can now, with technology, make a movie, cut it on their computer, upload it and have an audience be able to see it," he said.
The 49-year-old, who won Academy Awards for supporting actor in "The Usual Suspects" and lead actor in "American Beauty," said any genre of short film played well on mobiles and that the idea was to give viewers access to content where and when they wanted it.
Andy Baker, CEO of MOFILM said, "Working with Mobitel over the last year has developed our ideas and thoughts about MOFILM and helped us understand the importance of the education system and TV Broadcasters in promotion and accessibility to films. We look forward to visiting Sri Lanka in the coming months to continue the great work Mobitel has undertaken and hope that they can continue to be a leading global player in the Short film industry".
Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, with its expertise and vast experience, collaborated with Mobitel to produce several professional video clips suited for the Mobile Screen format. One of the clips named "A friend in need" directed by Mr. Chandana Senevirathne was shortlisted among the five finalists in the drama category at the Film festival.
Mr. Priyantha Kariyapperuma, the Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) who was a dignitary at the GSMA World congress 2009 had this to say "Mobitel, the innovator of various mobile related telecom solutions for Sri Lankan subscribers, has brought pride and glory to Sri Lanka by winning ‘MOFILM best mobile operator’ award in Barcelona at the GSMA World Congress. I wish Mobitel continued success in their future endeavors."
Mr. Suren J. Amarasekera, CEO of Mobitel, in response to receiving the international award said, "It is indeed a great honour to be recognized and rewarded by a prestigious international forum for creativity and innovation through fusion of Art and Technology for media, facilitated by a mobile operator. Mobitel is proud to win this prestigious award from among many leading operators including those from the advanced world. Mobitel thanks the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Telecom Regulatory Commission for the timely provision of the 3G license that allowed Mobitel to be the first and lead player in 3.5G technology. The 3G backbone serves as a platform for research into latest developments such Mobile Short Films. We feel endowed with the fortune of a pool of talented people within Mobitel who are a key reason for our success. We must credit the University of Moratuwa and Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation who joined us to create a formidable team in an endeavor that won us international recognition and respect."