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Hollywood Says 'Thank You' to Bali

Sony Picture Corporation Pays Tribute to Bali for its Support of 'EAT, PRAY, LOVE'

(2/12/2011) Sony Pictures Corporation is handing awards of appreciation to officials and individuals in Indonesia who assisted in the filming of EAT, PRAY, LOVE.

Most recently, the Mayor of Bali's capital city of Denpasar, I.B. Dharmawijaya Mantra, received official acknowledgement from Sony for his help and support to the film starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, based on an adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's bestselling memoir. One-third of the film's story was set on the island of Bali. Featured locations in the film included Padang-Padang Beach, Benoa Harbor, Kintamani, Lake Batur, Nusa Lembongan Island, the Ubud market and the nearby Monkey Forest temple.

The film's head production office operated from Sanur, Denpasar.

"I am proud that we were able to contribute to the success of EAT PRAY LOVE and I am pleased that there is such a positive response to the film," said Denpasar's mayor. "I invite further production companies to explore the possibilities and locations we offer here in Bali."

During four weeks of filming an estimated US$12.5million was generated for the local economy and, according to local and national tourism officials, the benefits continue to accrue with a direct increase experienced in the number of tourists visiting the island. Some industry studies have indicated that visitor growth to locations can triple following the release of a film, and the effect can continue for years.

In a recent brief presentation ceremony, Deborah Gabinetti, the director of the BALINALE International Film Festival, and Siti Sundari, secretary of the festival, presented the award to Mayor Mantra on behalf of the filmmakers and studio.

Sony Pictures delayed the film's Asia Pacific theatrical release in order to allow the premiere of the film during BALINALE 2010. This was done in recognition of the early support received when, in 2008, the festival invited executive producer Stan Wlodkowski to Bali to scout locations and meet Indonesian filmmakers including Christine Hakim, BALINALE co-founder, who was also cast in the role of Wayan Nuriasih,

Sony Pictures has also prepared award for presentation to Ibu Herawati Boediono, wife of Indonesia's Vice President; Jero Wacik, Minister of Culture & Tourism; Made Mangku Pastika, the Governor of Bali; A.A. Gde Agung, the regent of Badung; Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati, the regent of Gianyar; and Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade.