FOCUS connection leads to Sri Lankan-Israeli co-production
United Channel Movies (UCM) is shooting its latest feature film in Sri Lanka. UCM – a film production house from Israel – will create the project alongside Sri Lanka-based company Frames TV & Film Production, Sri Lanka Tourism and the Israel Film Commission. Named after a prominent beach area in Sri Lanka’s eastern region, Arugam Bay will also shoot in Tel Aviv, Israel. This collaboration was arranged after Frames TV & Film Productions attended FOCUS, The Location Guide’s annual trade conference in London.
“In 2016, we came to the FOCUS exhibition in London for the first time,” explains Shyaman Premasundara, founder and managing director of Frames TV & Film Productions. “We met a selection of filmmakers and film commissions, including the Israel Film Commission. From there onwards we continued to have some promising conversations. UCM were looking for a reliable partner for this project, and they had all our information and knew about our reputation and experiences as first-class production partners in Sri Lanka.”
“FOCUS is a place where filmmakers and creatives from all over the world can unite and explore new opportunities for collaboration,” says Clara Le, The Location Guide’s commercial director. “Working together is a really important element of our industry, and FOCUS is designed to offer exciting possibilities that culminate in projects such as Arugam Bay. We cannot wait to see the finished version of the film.”
The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau were especially pleased to welcome UCM to the country. They anticipate that the project will generate an influx of foreign revenue for the region’s economy, and hope that the successful partnership between UCM and Frames TV & Film Production emphasises Sri Lanka’s status a prime filming destination in South Asia.
Arugam Bay features a young Israeli group who travel to Sri Lanka to surf the island nation’s waves and create memories. The project will promote the eastern area of Sri Lanka as well as the country more broadly, highlighting its wealth of tourist destinations as well as the warmth and hospitality that Sri Lankan people exhibit to visitors.
To filmmakers who wish to shoot in tropical countries, Sri Lanka’s warm weather and large amounts of daylight make it a strong option. Despite the political unrest taking place in other parts of Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay has been filming without disruption throughout May. When released, it is anticipated that Arugam Bay will show in over 50 countries across Europe.
“I have attended FOCUS regularly since 2016 because it has helped me prove myself as reliable production service lead in Sri Lanka,” emphasises Shyaman. “As well as offering a bridge into the European and UK markets, it allowed us to create connections and relationships all over the world. At Frames we are hardworking, committed, and ready to shoot when you are.”
Images: Frames TV & Film Production and UCM
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