CHANDRAN RUTNAM

Hon­oured at AIFFA in Malaysia

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - LIFE IMPULSE -

Glob­ally renowned Sri Lankan film­maker Chandran Rutnam was re­cently hon­oured with a spe­cial award by the ASEAN IN­TER­NA­TIONAL FILM FES­TI­VAL & AWARDS (AIFFA) in Kuching, Sarawak re­cently. Chandran Rutnam was hon­oured in recog­ni­tion of his dis­tin­guished ser­vice to the Malaysian and Sarawak film in­dus­try through­out the years.

He is cred­ited to have brought nu­mer­ous Hol­ly­wood films to Malaysia for lo­ca­tion shoot­ing. Among such films were: FAREWELL TO THE KING star­ring Nick Nolte and Nigel Hagers, SLEEP­ING DIC­TIO­NARY star­ring Jesica Alba and Bob Hoskins, FIFTY/ FIFTY star­ring Robert Hayes, Peter Weller and Ra­mona Rahman, BE­YOND RANGOON star­ring Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette, INDOCHINE star­ring Cather­ine Deneuve, which won the Os­car for Best For­eign Film, PAR­ADISE ROAD star­ring Glenn Close and France’s Mc­dor­mand. Chandran also had the dis­tinc­tion of lead­ing the Malaysian del­e­ga­tion to the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val. Chandran was a 16-year-old school boy when David Lean ar­rived in Sri Lanka in 1957 to shoot his sec­ond world war epic ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’. The film pro­duc­tion had hired a house be­long­ing to his par­ents for a lo­ca­tion set and Chandran had hung out at the sets vol­un­teer­ing odd jobs un­til fi­nally he was hired as a stand-by props as­sis­tant and a gofer for the film crew. Show­ing his early skills at pub­lic re­la­tions and be­ing friendly with all the cast and crew on the film set, he had also be­friended among oth­ers the main star Wil­liam Holden, who had spent his down time with him chat­ting about the film busi­ness. Chandran later went to Lon­don to pur­sue his dream of a ca­reer in films; he later moved to Los An­ge­les and at­tended the film school at the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and the San Fer­nando Val­ley Col­lege of Law. While work­ing in the Hol­ly­wood stu­dios, Chandran’s big break in sell­ing Sri Lankan lo­ca­tions to in­ter­na­tional film­mak­ers came when he man­aged to con­vince John Derek, the di­rec­tor of ‘Tarzan the Ape­man’ in 1980 to shoot the en­tire film star­ring his wife Bo Derek in Sri Lanka rather than Africa. His film lo­ca­tions ser­vices com­pany started with a big bang! He was so suc­cess­ful and had im­pressed both the Dereks so much that eight years later they both re­turned to shoot ‘Ghosts Can’t Do it’ in Sri Lanka and the Mal­dives. In that movie, even US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump had a cameo role in one scene, and ac­cord­ing to Chandran, they had to shoot that par­tic­u­lar scene twice just to get it right.

CHANDRAN RUTNAM

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