Mobitel scooped the prize for best operator in the MOFILM 2009 awards, hosted by double Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, amidst worldwide competition.
This is a significant achievement for Mobitel and Sri Lanka as GSMA Mobile World Congress is the largest gathering and exhibition for the mobile industry where a congress featuring prominent Chief Executives representing mobile operators, vendors and content owners from across the world are present. This was the first time ever that an operator was recognised for the MOFILM Best Mobile Operator award.
Kevin Spacey commented: “MOFILM to me, is another step in that ability for people all over the world who can now, with technology, make a movie, cut it on their computer, upload it and have an audience be able to see it,” he said.
The actor said that any genre of short film played well on mobiles and that the idea was to give viewers access to content whenever they wanted. “Any time we try to put a parenthesis around something, with respect to artistic inspiration, somebody comes along and breaks the rules and before we know it, something we thought couldn’t work will work,” he said.
Andy Baker, CEO of MOFILM said, “Working with Mobitel over the last year has developed our ideas and thoughts about MOFILM and helped us understand the importance of the education system and TV Broadcasters in promotion and accessibility to films. We look forward to visiting Sri Lanka in the coming months to continue the great work Mobitel has undertaken and hope that they can continue to be a leading global player in the short film industry”.
MOFILMS are short films typically dedicated to raising awareness of current social issues in a fast paced fashion. The short films are played-back on mobile devices, now considered the fourth medium of entertainment following cinema, TV and the computer.
Mobitel partnered with the University of Moratuwa to conduct extensive research on the present and future of MOFILM and introduced Mobile Short Film as part of the overall curriculum under the subject Video Production. This area of study is gaining overwhelming popularity among undergraduate students.
Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, collaborated with Mobitel to produce several professional video clips suited for the Mobile Screen format. One of the clips “A friend in need” directed by Chandana Senevirathne was among the five finalists in the drama category at the Film Festival.
Priyantha Kariyapperuma, the Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), a dignitary at the GSMA World congress 2009 said, “Mobitel, the innovator of various mobile related telecom solutions for Sri Lankan subscribers, has brought pride and glory to Sri Lanka by winning ‘MOFILM best mobile operator’ award in Barcelona at the GSMA World Congress. I wish Mobitel continued success in their future endeavors.”
Suren J Amarasekera, CEO of Mobitel, on receiving the international award said, “It is indeed a great honour to be recognised and rewarded by a prestigious international forum for creativity and innovation through fusion of Art and Technology for media, facilitated by a mobile operator. Mobitel is proud to win this prestigious award from among many leading operators including those from the advanced world. Mobitel thanks the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Telecom Regulatory Commission for the timely provision of the 3G license that allowed Mobitel to be the first and lead player in 3.5G technology. The 3G backbone serves as a platform for research into latest developments such as Mobile Short Films. We feel endowed with the fortune of a pool of talented people within Mobitel who are a key reason for our success. We must credit the University of Moratuwa and Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation who joined us to create a formidable team in an endeavor that won us international recognition and respect.”