Sri Lanka woos Hollywood

September 19th, 2010 - 3:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 19 (IANS) With Tamil insurgents crushed after a quarter century of bloodshed, Sri Lanka is actively wooing Hollywood.

“We are working to increase our visibility with producers and directors in Hollywood and in other countries,” Sri Lankan ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya said here.

Hollywood blockbusters “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and “The Temple of Doom” were both shot in Sri Lanka at a time when the country was only known for its exotic locales — and serenity.

A veteran Hollywood film location scout who recently spent two weeks touring Sri Lanka said the country will remain a top location for film makers, according to statement from the Sri Lankan embassy here.

“The extent of its future success largely depends on promotion and ease of production in Sri Lanka,” said former Warner Bros. worldwide locations executive Bill Bowling.

Bowling said Sri Lanka’s “natural beauty” was an advantage for the island. Its rich animal life could attract documentary filmmakers, he said.

But “financial incentives have become the driver for location decisions around the world”, he said, adding Sri Lanka may be best placed to attract TV commercials and documentaries.

In March, Sri Lanka opened the Mahinda Rajapaksa National Tele-Cinema Park in Hambantota.

The state-of-the-art centre includes 235 acres of picturesque landscape featuring lakes, forests, model villages and colonial buildings in addition to industry standard pre-and-post production facilities.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya said: “Right now, we are working to increase our visibility with producers and directors in Hollywood.

“Sri Lanka has demonstrated its ability to attract foreign investment and we will use our strengths, our natural beauty and ecological wonders, to continue to make this a welcome place for the world’s film industry.”

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