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Chandran Rutnam

Chandran Rutnam
Rutnam in 2008
Born Chandran Rutnam
Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lankan
Occupation Film director, producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur
Known for Film making
Title President & CEO of Asian Film Locations Services
Ex-Chairman of Lionair
Chairman of Asian Aviation Centre
Chief Consultant at Selvasingam Consultants
Religion Christian
Children James, Daniel, Evelyn, Chanel & Danara
Website Asian Film Locations Services
Asian Aviation Centre
Selvasingam Consultants

Chandran Rutnam is a Sri Lankan film maker.[1][2]

Rutnam has hosted numerous Hollywood films for their location shoots in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.[1][2]

He was the Line Producer/Production Supervisor on several international productions including the Sri Lankan location shoot of Paramount Pictures' Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indochine (1992).[1][2]

Steven Spielberg once referred to Rutnam as "Our most valued friend in the Far East".[2][3][4][5]

Rutnam has had the distinction of working with Regis Wargnier.[1]

Rutnam wrote the screenplay, produced, directed and edited the film The Road from Elephant Pass, which was a Finalist Award Winner at the New York International Television and Film Awards in 2011.[3][4]

He wrote the adapted screenplay and produced and directed, A Common Man with Academy Award Winner Sir Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross. The film was nominated for the four main awards at the Madrid International Film Festival. The film won the Best Picture, Best Director and the Best Actor Awards in 2013.[1][6]


  • Family 1
  • Biography 2
    • Lover of Motion Pictures 2.1
    • Enthusiast of Aviation 2.2
  • Film career 3
    • Tarzan, the Ape Man 3.1
    • Ghosts Can't Do It 3.2
    • Mother Teresa 3.3
    • Adara Kathawa 3.4
    • Poronduwa 3.5
    • Janelaya 3.6
    • The Road from Elephant Pass 3.7
    • A Common Man 3.8
    • According To Mathew 3.9
    • Prince of Malacca 3.10
  • Filmography 4
    • Theatrical releases 4.1
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • Gallery 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Rutnam was born to a Tamil father Dr. James T. Rutnam and a Sinhala mother Evelyn Wijeratne, who gave him all his yearning for freedom and adventure. He has lived in Los Angeles, California for 38 years and is now residing in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He is a brother of Jayam Rutnam, the founder of the Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California (SLAASC).[1]


Lover of Motion Pictures

Rutnam (right) with Ben Kingsley (left) and Ben Cross (centre) at a Railway Station in Sri Lanka, during shooting of the Rutnam-directed film A Common Man.
Rutnam with Steven Spielberg, in the Gala Dinner held on December 9, 2009 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, honoring Steven Spielberg.
Rutnam at the hangar of Asian Aviation Centre and Lionair.
Chandran Rutnam, a Finalist Award Winner, is seen with the award in the presence of Judith Rutnam (third from left), James Rutnam (fourth from left) and other people at the 2011 New York International Television and Film Awards which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada in conjunction with the NAB Show. In the Best Film category, five films were selected by the New York Festivals Grand Jury and out of over 150 films, from 36 countries, the Sri Lanka film, The Road from Elephant Pass, directed, produced and written by Chandran Rutnam, was a Finalist Award Winner, judged by an international panel of the world's best creative professionals.

Rutnam was a school boy when David Lean arrived in Sri Lanka to shoot his Second World War epic, The Bridge on the River Kwai. The film crew hired a house that belonged to his parents for the shooting.[3][4] Due to this exposure, to the consternation of his parents, he dropped out of school and went to London to pursue his dream of a career in films. He later moved to the United States and attended the film school at the University of Southern California and the San Fernando Valley College of Law. While working in Hollywood studios, Rutnam's break in selling Sri Lankan locations to international filmmakers came when he managed to convince John Derek, director of Tarzan the Apeman, to shoot the film starring his wife Bo Derek, in Sri Lanka rather than Africa.[3][4][5]

Enthusiast of Aviation

Rutnam dreamt of conquering the aviation field and masterminded Asian Aviation Centre and Lionair. Lionair was established in October 1993 and started its operations on 24 October 1994. Lionair suspended its domestic services when an Antonov An-24 aircraft went missing shortly after it took off from Jaffna in 1998, but resumed services in October 2002.[7]

Rutnam stated, "I was the sort of guy who would go to an airport and watch the planes taking off. I remember as a kid, I went to the Colombo port and watched the ships coming and going out. I do not know whether it was wanderlust or freedom of movement. I do not know which one it was. Some years ago a friend of mine and I decided that we should have an airline." [8]

Film career

Tarzan, the Ape Man

Ghosts Can't Do It

  • He also took Bo and John Derek to beaches in Bentota to film Ghosts Can't Do It. There is a carving on a stone in Bentota, which says "Great Scot Loves You" – a message from late John to Bo.

Mother Teresa

Adara Kathawa

  • Rutnam also brought to life a love story between a Tamil boy and a Sinhalese girl in Adara Kathawa (Love Story in Sinhalese) based on the story of his parents. This was prior to the commencement of the current Sri Lankan civil war in 1983.


  • He wrote and directed the Sinhala film, Poronduwa (1993).[3][4]


  • He wrote and directed the Sinhala films, Janelaya.[3][4]

The Road from Elephant Pass

A Common Man

According To Mathew

Prince of Malacca

  • Rutnam is set to executive produce Prince of Malacca, an action-thriller film with Southeast Asian historical events.[9][10]


Theatrical releases

Year Film Director Producer Writer Editor Other Notes
1981 Tarzan, the Ape Man Yes Production Manager
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Yes Production Manager
Adara Kathawa Yes Yes
1986 Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy Yes Production Manager
The Kiss of the Cobra Yes
1987 Der Stein des Todes Yes
1988 Farewell to the King Yes Production Manager
The Further Adventures of Tennessee Buck Yes Production Manager
A Dangerous Life Yes
1989 The Iron Triangle Yes Production Manager
Shadow of the Cobra Yes
1990 Witness to a Killing - Janelaya Yes Yes Yes
Ghosts Can't Do It Yes Associate Producer
1992 Spooks Yes Production Manager
Indochine Yes Production Supervisor
Fifty/Fifty Yes Production Manager
1993 La porte du ciel
Yes Production Supervisor
Le prix d'une femme
Yes Production Supervisor
Poronduwa - The Promise Yes Yes Yes
1994 Le Livre De Cristal Yes Production Supervisor
1995 Madara Parasathu Yes
Beyond Rangoon Yes Production Manager
L'enfant des Rues
Yes Production Supervisor
1996 Robo Warriors Yes Production Supervisor
Bloodsport 2 Yes
Victory Yes Production Supervisor
Caught Yes Production Supervisor
1997 Les mystères de Sadjurah Yes Production Supervisor
Paradise Road Yes Production Supervisor
Bloodsport III Yes
The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo Yes Associate Producer
Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor Yes
1998 D'or et de Safran
Yes Production Supervisor
The Son of Sandokan Yes Production Manager
Yes Production Supervisor
1999 Pilgrimage - Theertha Yathra Yes
2000 Straße ins Paradies
Yes Production Supervisor
Der Kaptan
Yes Production Supervisor
2001 Un dono Semplice
Yes Production Supervisor
2002 Mansion by the Lake - Wekanda Walauwa Yes
Love 2002 Yes
The Hostages Yes Production Supervisor
2003 Mother Teresa of Calcutta Yes Production Manager
The Sleeping Dictionary Yes
2006 Spie Lies & Alibis Yes Production Supervisor
Water Yes Production Manager
Fisherman's Daughter – Dheewari Yes
2009 Victory Yes Production Supervisor
The Road from Elephant Pass Yes Yes Yes Yes
2010 Agyaat Yes
2011 Ready Yes Line Producer
2012 Milla Soya Yes Co-Producer
Train to Kandy Yes Executive Producer
Jism 2 Yes Production Supervisor
2013 A Common Man Yes Yes Yes
Sri Siddhartha Gauthama Yes Yes Yes
2014 According to Mathew Yes Yes

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1990 Sarasaviya Award Best Camera Witness to a Killing – Janelaya Won
1999 Presidential Awards Best Picture Pilgrimage - Theertha Yathra Won
2011 New York International Television and Film Awards Best Film The Road from Elephant Pass Won
(Finalist Award)
2013 Madrid International Film Festival Best Director A Common Man Won
Delhi International Film Festival Best Film Sri Siddhartha Gauthama Won


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^ a b c d e f g
  4. ^ a b c d e f g
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ Flight International 5–11 April 2005
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d e f
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b

External links

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