STATEMENT BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG, Y.A.B. LIM GUAN ENG ON THE PROPOSED TV DRAMA SERIES FILMING PROJECT BY NEW PRODUCTIONS LTD., UNITED KINGDOM THROUGH BISCUIT FILMS SDN. BHD. AT CRAG HOTEL AND WOODSIDE BUNGALOW.
The Penang State Government is extremely honoured that an international collaboration between UK’s New Productions Ltd and local company, Biscuit Films Sdn. Bhd. has chosen Penang as the filming location for an international drama series. The drama series, which will be titled ‘Indian Summers’, is a major new ten part British and American television drama series to be filmed on Penang island from late April, 2014. It is also the first international television production to be filmed entirely on location right here in Penang.
Indian Summers tells the story of the final years of British colonial rule in India. Set between the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and tea plantations of Northern India, Indian Summers tells the rich and explosive story of the decline of the British Empire and the birth of modern India – seen through both British and Indian eyes.
The companies’ decision to film in Penang was made after an extensive global search was carried out for suitable locations. Amongst the sites considered were the Indian sub-continent and the Far East. This serves to demonstrate Penang’s unique international appeal not only as a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also a nod to her beautiful heritage structures and natural wonders. In addition to Crag Hotel and Woodside Bungalow, other traditional buildings in and around George Town like the Suffolk House, the Town Hall, the Botanical Gardens, the State Museum will also be featured in the series.
The State Government is also pleased to emphasise that apart from showcasing the dramatic colonial heritage the Island has to offer, the production of this television series will result in –
the restoration of certain heritage buildings to their former glory. In this regard, the producers will be working closely with the State Government to create a sustainable filming infrastructure for returning future series as well as ensuring that the present filming locations will be safeguarded and properly maintained throughout the filming duration;
a direct influx of interest, publicity and revenue for everything else that Penang has to offer, including her various available accommodations, sports facilities, gastronomic adventures, shopping haven and tourist attractions. The State Government stands to receive rental proceeds of –
RM650,000 for filming at the Crag Hotel from end of this month to 31 December 2015; and
(ii) RM120,000 on a yearly basis for filming at the Woodside Bungalow
Beginning from end of April 2014 for a period of 5 years.
In addition to the rental proceeds, it is estimated that the potential inflow from this filming project stands at Ringgit Malaysia Fifty Million; and employment opportunities for Penangites in terms of engagement of local contractors, suppliers and even budding actors!
The television series will feature actors from India and the UK, as well as from Malaysia itself. Casting began last year with plans to fill as many roles as possible from the local Indian and European Malay Community. The unique Indian and European Malay citizens give the show the blend of faces that will fill the sets for filming, a rare advantage that productions only see in very large international cities.
It is the State Government’s wish that ‘Indian Summers’ will not only relive the sunset years of the colonial British empire but to strengthen the State Government’s vision to create a unique and prestigious tourism product that is associated with Penang. With Penang Hill being one of Penang’s main tourist attractions, this project will further add stature to Penang Hill’s appeal to high-valued tourists and help raise Penang’s profile in the international tourism industry.
On behalf of the people and the State Government of Penang, I would like to thank the people responsible in bringing this project to our shores, namely Mr. Charlie Pattinson of New Pictures Ltd. parent company of New Productions Ltd as well as Mr. Magen Appathurai and Mr. Bill Donovan of Biscuit Films. Mr. Pattinson is a leading International television Producer, his credits include award winning drama series such as ELIZABETH 1st, THE WHITE QUEEN, SHAMELESS, GENERATION KILL, SKINS and WILD AT HEART. Biscuit Films is a well-established local production company in commercials and films, their last production in Penang being LOVE AND DEATH IN JAVA in 2010.
I wish this project every success and hope that the cast, crew and everyone associated with this project will have an enjoyable stay in Penang. Everyone is more than welcomed to find their own ‘summer’ right here in the ‘Pearl of the Orient’.
LIM GUAN ENG
槟城州首席部长林冠英于2014年4月23日对有关BISCUIT FILMS SDN. BHD. 引介下由英国 NEW PRODUCTIONS LTD计划于升旗山CRAG 酒店及WOODSIDE别墅摄制电视剧所发表的文告。
槟城州政府极度荣幸英国的New Productions 制作公司能与本地公司Biscuit Films Sdn. Bhd. 跨国合作选择槟城作为国际性的电视剧拍摄地点。这部电视剧的片名为《印度之夏》(Indian Summers)，是英国及美国最新的主要十集电视剧。这部剧将在2014年4月底在槟岛开拍。这也是首次有国际性的电视剧，几乎整部剧拍摄景点都在槟城拍摄。