News at Tipitaka Network
Indo-Sri Lankan venture on Buddha film
Compiled by Tipitaka Network newsdesk, Saturday, September 8, 2007
An historical epic is to be filmed about the life and teachings of the Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.
"The message of the movie gives answers to global crises of conflict and environmental problems," Navin Gooneratne, the chairman of the Light of Asia Foundation, told reporters at a press conference in Mumbai on August 27.
The film, The Buddha, is a venture between the foundation, which is based in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, and India's Beyond Dreams Entertainment.
"We are about to tell the story of a man who was born in Indian Subcontinent and redefined the way the world thinks," Beyond Dreams Entertainment CEO Yash Patnaik said.
Veteran Indian director and Dadasaheb Phalke award winner Shyam Benegal will direct the movie.
"The life of Siddhartha is full of excitement and few people realise that. One needs to look at all these aspects because His journey has been so thrilling," Benegal said.
"People relate Mahatma Gandhi with the message of non-violence but it was Buddha who first preached it," he pointed out.
The film, which will go on the floor in the middle of next year and is slated for a 2009 release, will be shot both in India and Sri Lanka. The cast is yet to be decided.
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.
"We will recreate the city of Kapilavastu where the Buddha was born. Hopefully it will not merely be a film site but a permanent attraction for tourists," Gooneratne said.
The Buddha was born into a princely family in the 6th Century BC in Kapilavastu on the border between present day India and Nepal, but abandoned a life of ease for spiritual enlightenment.
Noted screenplay writer Atul Tiwari has been roped in to write the story, screenplay and dialogue of this epic. Sri Lankan Buddhist scholar Nimal D'Silva will head the research team, which will include experts from China, Japan and South Korea, where Buddhism is influential.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the production of the film took place earlier at the historic Raja Mahavihara in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.
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Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa.
Buddha sāsana.m cira.m ti.t.thatu.