Monday, February 26, 2007

Maldives keen to boost cinema industry: Sanath

By: Daily Mirror

The Maldivian government is making every effort to encourage foreign productions to be shot in its locations thereby sharing their technical know-how with the local film clan.

Maldivian Minister of State for Arts Hussain Shihab who is in charge of the country’s film industry has been playing a key role in motivating young filmmakers in Maldives, award-winning film star Sanath Gunathilaka said.

Sanath participated as the Chief Judge at last week’s Maladivian Film Festival together with seasoned filmmaker Somartane Dissanayake.

“Maladivian filmmakers are influenced by popular cinema, almost addicted to Indian film styles. But I advised them in my capacity that though popular cnema is crucial for a movie industry, it should also strive to create an own identity and I believe they took me seriously,” he said adding that Maldives also planned to hold film festivals including those representing the SAARC countries soon.

“They have big plans for the future and their motives seem to be genuine. I hope they would emerge as a force to reckon with soon,” he said.

The Maldivian government is now taking steps to build new cinema halls and promote the industry by offering several concessions to those involved in the field.

Even foreign teams which choose Maldivian location to picturise their films are given free access in a bid to boost the industry.

Popular Sinhala films Sulanga and Sakman Maluwa have also been screened in Maldives recently.

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