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Sri Lanka Tourism’s ‘So Sri Lanka’ film wins Viral Brand Film of the Year

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Wunderman Thompson’s ‘So Sri Lanka – Wild Guides’ viral film for Sri Lanka Tourism took home the coveted award for ‘Best Viral film’ in the Brand Film Awards in London recently.

Hosted by PR Week and Campaign, the Brand Film Awards is a prestigious award that celebrates the use of branded content within marketing. Not only did Wild Guides pick up the Viral Film Award, it was also recognised as a finalist in the consumer goods category.

‘Wild Guides’ was a first of its kind digital PR film experience brought to life by a BAFTA and Emmy Award winning team of nature film makers was designed to communicate the new destination identity, ‘So Sri Lanka’; the film delivered unprecedented success with a combined reach of over 2.5 billion across key international markets last year.

“Sri Lanka continues to grow into her fullest tourism potential and this film was strategically developed to appeal to the higher value independent travelers that are only just discovering our island home. It was important to capture the pristine charm, natural wonders and rich history of Sri Lanka while also capturing the emotion of the island; our family values, our nurturing qualities and our unhurried, delightful love of life was equally important to communicate in a way that differentiates us from our Asian neighbors” said Alyna Haji Omar, CEO of Wunderman Thompson Sri Lanka. She added “We believed that in a world where destination products are consumed through the many filters of authenticity, values and purpose it is so important to create an emotional story that can capture the hearts and imagination of people across the world”.

The film idea was developed and executed by Wunderman Thompson Sri Lanka in partnership with their global PR partners BCW London in collaboration with Freeborne Media UK whose projects include the Emmy Award and BAFTA-winning series Blue Planet II, the Emmy Award-nominated series Wild New Zealand with National Geographic (U.S. TV channel), and the BAFTA-winning BBC1 series Big Blue Live with PBS.

Alyna added “We are a world beating island destination and Wunderman Thompson is incredibly proud of the world beating talent that collaborated to create another first for Sri Lanka – incidentally this is also the first time a Sri Lankan brand has ever won this award & I want to congratulate Sri Lanka Tourism on the vision and commitment it took to bring this spectacular perspective of our blessed island to life”.

To entice experience-seeking travellers to visit Sri Lanka – named by Lonely Planet as the best country in the world to visit in 2019 – the film captures Sri Lanka’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture from the viewpoint of the country’s most extraordinary inhabitants: its wildlife. The film includes ‘up close and personal’ footage shot with (and by!) some of Sri Lanka’s most iconic residents – including elephants, turtles, leopards, blue whales and fishing cats.

The captivating three-minute film takes us on a wild journey across our island nation’s stunning landscapes. Footage includes following a newly hatched sea-turtle’s journey to the sea on the endless white-sand beaches of the south coast, to getting a soaring “eagle”-eye view of the spectacular ancient Sigiriya rock fortress; and watching the world’s largest elephants travel in their home in the sprawling Udawalawe National Park, as well as witnessing doves waking with the vibrant sunrise over Colombo.

Director and producer of the short film, Nicola Brown, said: “Sri Lanka is such a beautiful country with incredible wildlife and we thought a great way of telling its story visually would be from the perspective of its animals. To achieve this, we utilised natural history filming techniques and technology to capture an immersive view of Sri Lanka that would put the viewer in their world. We also had an opportunity to put the cameras in the animal’s world – literally. Cheeky toque macaque monkeys in Polonnaruwa quickly learned how to unscrew our camera rigs and even ran away with our kit!”

The new ‘So Sri Lanka’ branding, developed by Wunderman Thompson together with Landor, was revealed at the World Travel Market in London in November 2018 and marked the start of Sri Lanka’s fresh approach to destination marketing. The film, which brings the new branding to life, and premiered at ITB Berlin 2019 can be watched here:

 



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HNB partners Hayleys Agri for offers on Kubota, Agrotech, Farmtrac agriculture machinery

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(from left) Hayleys Agriculture Sales Manager Sunil Gamini, Hayleys Agriculture General Manager Sumith Herath, Hayleys Agriculture Director Lushan Abesekara, Hayleys Agriculture Director Amjad Rajap and Hayleys Agriculture Managing Director Jayanthi Dharmasena with HNB Deputy General Manager- Retail and SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne, HNB Head of Micro Finance Vinodh Fernando, HNB Head of Personal Financial Services Kanchana Karunagama, HNB Head of Leasing Niluka Amarasinghe, HNB Assistant Manager- Leasing Roshan de Silva and HNB Business Development Executive- HNB Leasing Mahesh Ratnayake.
 
HNB PLC, renewed its partnership with leading agricultural machinery and equipment supplier Hayleys Agriculture, to offer customers convenient leasing solutions and attractive benefits for Kubota, Agrotech and Farmtrac range of machinery.
 
 The partnership which offers HNB customers special rates on tractors, transplanters and harvesters was inked at a ceremony held at Hayleys Head Office. HNB Deputy General Manager- Retail and SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne and Hayleys Agriculture Managing Director Jayanthi Dharmasena graced the ceremony as guests of honor.
 
 “Last year was especially challenging for us all. However, we have continued to work tirelessly to provide our customers with the best possible deals available in the market. As such, we hope that entrepreneurs in the agricultural industry will make use of this offer to strengthen and expand their businesses,” HNB Head of Personal Financial Services Kanchana Karunagama said.

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Virtusa sponsors first virtual IEEE Sri Lanka robotics workshop

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The Arduino compatible ZUMO 32U4 robot interfaced using ROS during the workshop

Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS: VRTU), a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering, and IT services and solutions that help clients change and disrupt markets through innovation engineering, sponsored the first in a series of ‘Workshop’ branded events organized by IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) Sri Lanka Section Chapter in partnership with IEEE Sri Lanka Section.
 
 Anchored to an alliance that goes back a number of years, Virtusa and the IEEE RAS Sri Lanka Section Chapter moved away from the traditional ‘Meetup’ to host a full day virtual workshop, offering a unique opportunity for participants to engage with robotics and automation experts on a virtual platform. An introduction to Robot Operating System (ROS) – the workshop explored the fundamentals of ROS including robot theory, perception, navigation and manipulation, followed by hands-on sessions on ROS basics, as well as moving and manipulating robots online.
 
 “Moving away from the physical auditorium set-up to a virtual platform, we were extremely thrilled with the participation we saw during the full-day workshop,” commented Dr. Peshala Jayasekara, Senior Lecturer – Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering, University of Moratuwa, lead presenter at the workshop. “Over 120 students, undergraduates, postgraduates, academia and industry stakeholders enthusiastically engaged and invested their day to successfully complete the workshop with an IEEE Technical Sponsorship, one of the highest recognitions in the world.”
 
The significance of robotics and automation largely depends on the broader collaboration between researchers and end-users of various domains – market potential that Virtusa continues to explore. Servicing multiple industries with intelligent engineering automation among a growing solutions portfolio, Virtusa promotes robotics research and application to generate greater impact by developing solutions to end-user driven challenges.
 
 “Robotics, particularly intelligent automation is rapidly changing the new norm of the IT industry,” Misnad Haque, Director – Technology at Virtusa elaborated. “From automated IT quality assurance to autonomous spaceflight, the opportunities to develop and nurture these bots are limitless. Events like this bring together like-minded humans – and perhaps robots too in the future –facilitating innovation through knowledge-sharing as well as experiential platforms that organizations like Virtusa can provide.”
 
 “Our aim is to host an IEEE Sri Lanka Robotics Workshop each year among other events, so that we can work together with expert resource personnel who are on par with global robotics trends and insights,” stated Prof. Chandima Pathirana, chairman of IEEE RAS Sri Lanka Chapter. “With Virtusa’s continued sponsorship and support, we are proud to say that this session delivered on the promised level of exposure and knowledge on robotics, and we look forward to inspiring the growing group of robotics enthusiasts in Sri Lanka.”
 

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Hyundai hands over ‘The Suites’ and ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life to John Keells Properties

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Cinnamon Life Engineering Manager Yasindu Wijayawickrama, JKP COO Inoke Perera, HKN Senior Project Manager J.C. Wook, JKP Head of Sales Nadeem Shums, JKP CFO Ravi Wijewantha, JKP CMO Roshanie Jayasundera-Moraes, JKH Leisure Group President Suresh Rajendra, JKH chairman Krishan Balendra, HKN Project Director T.H Kim, JKH Property Group Sector Head Nayana Mawilmada, JKH Property Group Head of Asset Management Theekshana Jayarathna, HKN Senior Project Manager J.H Kim, HKN Resident Director Seo Seong-Soo
 
 
Cinnamon Life, John Keells Properties’ iconic mixed-development project, is ever closer to redefining Colombo’s skyline with the completion of its plush residential tower ‘The Suites’ at Cinnamon Life and the state-of-the-art office tower, ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life.
 
 With its construction now complete, the 196-unit apartment building and the 30 storey office tower were ceremonially handed over to John Keells Holdings (JKH) chairman Krishan Balendra by T.H. Kim – Project Director of the contractor HKN (a joint venture between Hyundai, Keangnam and Nawaloka).
 
 Speaking at the event, Balendra said the completion of ‘The Suites’ and ‘The Offices’ at Cinnamon Life heralds a new beginning for the city of Colombo.
 
 Noting that the apartment buildings and the offices are a key feature in its mammoth integrated development project, the JKH chairman said, once completed, Cinnamon Life will rival anything that the South Asian region has to offer.
 
 “John Keells Holdings first conceptualized Cinnamon Life in 2010. Operating Cinnamon Grand and Cinnamon Lakeside, two large five star hotels, we knew that Colombo didn’t have the facilities to host large regional events. Cinnamon Life with its 800 roomed hotel, multiple banqueting and conferencing spaces and retail space is now positioned to host some of the biggest events in the region, particularly in South Asia,” he said.
 
 “It’s the largest private investment in Sri Lanka to date, and with its completion in the next year, we expect that Cinnamon Life will position Colombo as the leisure, entertainment and retail epicentre of the South Asian region,” he added.
 
 Balendra further added “These are challenging times, not just for us but for the world as a whole. With the right attitude, however, no challenge is insurmountable and as we, together with HKN, have ably demonstrated with the completion of these two towers.”

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