US$ 20 million global venture on Gautam Buddha

Yash Patnaik promoted Beyond Dreams Entertainment Limited, India ties up with The Light of Asia Foundation, Sri Lanka for a US $ 20 million global project on the life of Gautam Buddha.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the production of the film, interestingly took place at the historic Raja Mahavihara - in Kelaniya on the Esala Full Moon day between the Foundation's Honorary Chairman - Mr Navin Gooneratne and the CEO of Beyond Dreams Entertainment Ltd., Mr Yash Patnaik, in the presence of Hon Minister of Culture Sri Lanka Government and the Chairman and General Manager of the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka. The Maha Sangha chanted "Seth Pirith", blessings for the success of the gigantic production of over US $20 Million.

Says Yash Patnaik, CEO, Beyond Dreams, "Gautama Buddha is an integral part of India's history and culture. But ironically it's the people of Sri Lanka, China, Japan and other Far East countries who have understood the philosophies and followed. I belong to a place called Bhubaneshwar formerly known as Shishupalgarh, where the great Kalinga War had happened in 257 BC. From there Ashoka turned from "Chand Ashoka" to Dharm Ashoka" after killing lakhs of innocent people. From there Ashoka started preaching Buddhism and his son Mahinda took it further to Sri Lanka and Far East. So when I heard about the proposal from Mr Saman Weeraman, General Manager National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka I jumped at it. Besides boasting of international values, the film will also be the cultural bridge between not just the two nations but the world over, Buddha being the epitome of peace and happiness, the need of the hour globally."

Adds Navin Goonaratne, the Foundation's honorary Chairman, "This Co-production is, the first of its kind linking both India and Sri Lanka, will be released globally - as the content of the film - the life of Prince Siddhartha and his quest for the Truth - the cessation of sorrow - will be of interest to the world at large."

The producers have already obtained the support of the Government of Sri Lanka, The National Film Corporation and set up a unit to finalize the script in consultation with the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies in The University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.

His Excellency The President - Mahinda Rajapakse has already met the producers and has given his blessings for the same as well. The film set will be made in the beautiful location of the 'Centre of Radiation' surrounded by breathtaking scenery of the mountainous range, not far from the Capital - Colombo.

Yash PatnaikIndia's leading stars and its best creative talent will be engaged for the film, once the Script is finalized and approved by a panel of experts. The ground is being cleared for the set as Navin - The 'Foundation's Chairman indicated when he flew Yash Patnaik by helicopter over 1000 Acre the scenic film location in Sri Lanka. Navin Goonaratne and Yash Patnaik have zeroed in upon director Shyam Benegal to direct the film. "We were impressed by his experience," avers Goonaratne. "It is always beneficial to have a film-maker with the relevant experience to hold the megaphone in such a global venture."

The Light Of Asia Foundation, committed to propagate the philosophy of Buddhism to the global community has initiated a project to set up "The Centre of Radiation" in Sri Lanka, where the Foundation will create a Global Village - a living environment for the understanding and the practice of the philosophy of Buddhism. One of the first projects undertaken by the Foundation is the making of the feature film "The Buddha".

Beyond Dreams has recently signed a deal with Indrani Mukherjee promoted INX channel to be its 'Production Partner'.