GEORGE TOWN: Penang has been chosen as the location for an international drama series following an extensive global search for a suitable site.
The television drama series, Indian Summers, is a collaboration between Britain’s New Production Ltd and local company Biscuit Films Sdn Bhd. More than 50 episodes will be filmed here over a five-year period.
Among the iconic sites that will be featured are the Crag Hotel and the Woodside Bungalow in Penang Hill, Suffolk House, the Town Hall, Botanic Gardens and the state museum.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the companies’ decision to film in Penang was because of the state’s international appeal as a Unesco World Heritage site, her beautiful heritage structures and natural wonders.
“The state government is honoured that they have chosen Penang as the filming location for the series.
“With Penang Hill being one of the state’s main tourist attractions, this project will further add stature to its appeal and help raise the state’s profile in international tourism,” he told a press conference after signing the agreement with New Production Ltd chief executive and Indian Summers executive producer Charlie Pattinson at Komtar yesterday.
“We are also pleased that apart from showcasing the island’s colonial heritage, the production of this series will result in the restoration of certain heritage buildings to their former glory.”
He said the film producers would work closely with the state government to create a sustainable filming infrastructure as well as ensuring the filming locations would be safeguarded and properly maintained throughout the filming duration.
Lim said the state government would receive RM650,000 for filming at the Crag Hotel from April 28 to Dec 31, 2015, and RM120,000 annually for filming at the Woodside Bungalow over a period of five years.
In addition to rental proceeds, it is estimated that the potential inflow from this filming project will be RM50mil.
“There will be employment opportunities for Penangites in terms of engagement of local contractors, suppliers and budding actors,” he said.
Indian Summers tells the story of the final years of British colonial rule in India.
Set between the sweeping grandeur of the Himalayas and the tea plantations of northern India, the drama tells the story of the decline of the British Empire and the birth of modern India – seen through both British and Indian eyes.