Strong and transparent laws that protect film distribution will ensure that Sri Lankan creatives will drive economic growth, US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz said.
At the event of a panel discussion held by two US experts and four Sri Lankan film professionals on March 30, Ambassador Teplitz also said having strong laws would ensure that creatives are paid fairly and can share Sri Lanka’s stories with the world.
“One of our core beliefs is freedom of speech, and movies are one of the most powerful ways that we can share our stories with each other,” she said.
The panel discussion was focused on how effective film distribution benefits Sri Lanka’s movie industry, artists, and audiences.
Representing Film Independent, America’s premiere organization for independent moviemaking, entertainment lawyer Michael Donaldson and Global Media Makers Senior Programme Manager Shari Page emphasized how film distribution is a key channel for storytellers to reach their audiences.
Moderated by Jaffna International Film Festival Director Anoma Rajakaruna, the panel included filmmaker Boodiee Keerthisena, a representative of Ceylon Theatres and Chairman of Scope Cinemas Naveed Cader.
An expert on intellectual property rights laws, Mr. Donaldson is an award-winning author whose books on clearance and copyright are used in over 50 film schools.
Ms. Page has worked as a casting associate and producer for over 27 productions including the Golden Globe winning series “Californication” for Showtime.
Mr. Donaldson and Ms. Page are in Sri Lanka as part of the Global Media Makers programme, an innovative mentoring initiative and cultural exchange program designed to foster relationships between American filmmakers and industry professionals with international social issue filmmakers.
Filmmakers and other creatives can find out more about upcoming programs and connected to the US Embassy by visiting the American Centre in Colombo or following the Embassy’s social media sites.