Wednesday, August 29, 2007
On August 27, 2007 a historic announcement was made at a Press conference at Taj Lands End, Mumbai, by Light of Asia Foundation Chairman Mr. Navin Gooneratne and Beyond Dreams Entertainment Limited's CEO Yash Patnaik, the producers of a historic film to be directed by esteemed filmmaker Shyam Benegal.
'This is a historic moment for South Asian Cinema. We are about to tell the story of a man who was born in Indian Subcontinent and redefined the way the world thinks- Gautama Buddha. The impact of his philosophy can be measured by the fact that hundreds of millions of people across the globe have embraced it and made it a way of life. Buddha's philosophy is more contemporary today than ever before" pronounced Beyond Dreams Entertainment Limited's CEO Yash Patnaik while announcing a historic epic on The Buddha to be directed by Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner Mr Shyam Benegal.
After working on the project for almost eight months Beyond Dreams Entertainment Limited, Mumbai and Light of Asia Foundation of Colombo have build a multi-million massive film project.
Noted screenplay writer Atul Tiwari has been roped in to write the story, screenplay and dialogue of this epic. Tiwari has written many landmark movies like 'Bose, the Forgotten Hero,' 'Mission Kashmir' etc. Professor Nimal D'Silva, leading Buddhist scholar in the South Asia region has been appointed to head the research along with scholars from China, Japan and Korea.
An Indian delegation headed by Patnaik has already done a location study along with Mr. Benegal and Tiwari. During the trip Benegal and Patnaik visited the President of Sri Lanka His Excellency Mahinda Rajapakshe who gave his full hearted support for the project.
"The message of the film Buddha gives answers both to the global crisis of conflict and environment," says Goonaratne, while describing his biggest dream of making a film on Buddha, a dream he has been nurturing for the past 20 years.
Chandran Rutnam, reputed international film maker who has been associated with some of the biggest ever movies made in Hollywood in the past four decades from 'Indiana Jones' to Bo Derek's 'Tarzen' to 'Bloodsport series' is ecstatic about the project. "I have worked with many Hollywood greats from Copala to Spielberg.. but this project is the closest to my heart." He further adds, "A film on the philosophy of the Lord Buddha's teachings which in this time of need, in this hour of turmoil could be an excellent vehicle using the medium of cinema to spread the Buddhist philosophy throughout the World." Hollywood has always endeavored to reach to the masses throughout the World, and this is an opportunity to bring an important subject to the World"
Gooneratne has already acquired over 1000 acres of land near Colombo where a massive set will be build to recreate the era for the filming of the epic.
The film is expected to go on floor around mid-2008 and slated for a mid-2009 release.