Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg has famously proclaimed, Sri Lanka a natural film set. This land with multiple terrains has seen global movie makers making a beeline to shoot their movies here. Adventure, romance, epics, thriller, horror – every genre of entertainment has found Sri Lanka the ideal place for shooting their stories. As a matter of fact, seeing more international movies being shot near Galle or the lush greenery of Kandy isn’t uncommon anymore. A peek out of your guest house in Colombo and you might just spot your favourite international star walking down the street!
The country has seen some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry walking its soil and shooting memorable scenes. The subtle landscapes of Sri Lanka graced big screens in the following movies. Most of which add their own charm to the grand visuals:
Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom
The iconic movie franchise about an archaeologist found a home in Kandy for its second instalment. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Indiana Jones & Temple of Doom was a prequel to the first movie, Raiders of The Ark. The movie centred on Indiana Jones finding a mystical stone and rescuing children from being victims of black magic practice. Kandy guest houses all around found themselves populated with the crew. If you are lucky and another film starts shooting here in Sri Lanka, your property can be next!
Directed by Deepa Mehta, Water is an Indo-Canadian feature film. Set in 1938 that explores lives of widows at a Vrindavan ashram in India. Due to an unfavourable response from the authorities towards filming in India, the director quietly shifted filming to Sri Lanka. Her cinematographer Giles Nuttgens lovingly captured the quaint beauty of Sri Lanka within 70 mm, bringing to light the unexplored travel destination for many. The movie was also Canada’s official entry to the Oscars for the Best Film in Foreign Language category, eventually making it to the finals.
The Bridge on River Kwai
The critically acclaimed British-American epic war film was based on a fictitious event that used the historic setting of construction of the Burma railway in the 1940s. Starring William Holden, Alec Guinness and Jack Hawkins, The Bridge on River Kwai received immense praise and acknowledgement, even going on to win seven Oscars, including one for Best Cinematography. Shot near Kitugala, the movie explored the dense greenery Sri Lanka is now famous for.
The love affair between Sri Lanka and international movies is only expected to grow further. Many find the natural beauty alluring enough to paint a pretty picture on the big screen. After all, it is very rare to have so many different landscapes in one place.