International Tourism Film Festival Maldives branded a success

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Encouraged by the success of ‘Following the Equator,’ tourism magnate Ahmed Siyam Mohamed plans to make the film festival an annual event.

The recently concluded International Tourism Film Festival Maldives (ITFFM) was the first of its kind to take place in the country.

“The organisers of the international tourism film festivals as well as the international journalists and celebrities who attended the event are very happy with the event, and have remarked that the Maldives is a great location to host such festivals,” said Siyam, Festival President and Chairman of the Sun Siyam Group.

“The event was more than just a film festival. As we have received more than 200 videos from different countries, it is also an opportunity to learn about different cultures, and the changing trends in the tourism industry.”

The award-winning Sun Siyam Iru Fushi resort hosted the three-day event from 10 – 12 July.

Celebrities in attendance included German television and voice actor Raul Richter, British TV/radio presenter and model, Lizzie Cundy, Chinese actress and singer, Yang Ziyan, and Iraqi social media queen, Mina Wattan Ramadhan Raheem.

The Maldivian film industry was represented by popular actors Mohamed Jummiyal Nimal and Aishath Rishmy Rameez and director Abdul Fathaah Abdul Gayoom.

The winners were announced at a closing ceremony gala on the resort’s Islander’s Grill beach.

The big winner of the night was Turkish director Daghan Celayir, who won the Grand Prix for ‘Home of Turquoise,’ a film commissioned by Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The winner of the Facebook competition launched earlier this year as part of ‘Following the Equator’ was also announced. Mr Skero from Montenegro received a 5-night all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Sun Siyam Iru Fushi resort for his video, ‘Don’t let this be your destiny.’

According to Alexander V Kammel, festival judge and director of CIFFT (Comité International des Festivals du Film Touristique), the submissions were judged based on originality, artistic quality, aesthetics, picture quality, as well as editing work.

“On the other hand, you should know what the target audience is because, for example, a film that sounds boring compared to others may be perfect for your target audience. And that’s what the whole thing is about; you have to know what the target group is. So we have to consider that as well,” he said.

“You want to tell the consumer ‘here we offer the experience of a lifetime, you’ll be treated like royalty, you can do whatever you want,’ and the viewer will say I want to go there. Someone might find it boring, but you reach your target audience.”

Irinia Arkhipo – one of the judges and the founder and CEO of an international tourism film festival called Golden Peak – also stressed the importance of the film industry for tourism development, citing the well-documented boost for New Zealand and UK tourism from the The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies, respectively.

The evening concluded with live music by popular local band, Limestone.

As tourism accounts for 30 per cent of the Maldives’ GDP, Siyam observed that the festival offered “a great opportunity to promote Maldives’ tourism.”

He added: “I am very happy about the event. As this festival was held here in the Maldives, it provides an advantage to promote the country. This is a great opportunity to promote tourism not just for Maldives but all the countries in the world.”


List of winners


Category – Animation

Dolly Doctor

Director – Jose Manuel Garcia Alvarez

Asociacion Casa de Rusia a Catalunya



Category – Clip

The Path to Autumn

Director – Vitaliy Shmatchenko



Category – Tourism

Norte Region of Portugal – a Unique Region

Director – José Lemos

CCDR-N/Farol de Ideias



Category:  Tourism

Poland’s Riviera

Producer: Agnieszka Pajak

Director: Georg van der Weyden



Nomination awards

Category: Tourism

Back to your own time – Holidays in Austria

Director – Johannes Grebert

Austrian National Tourist Office



Category – Clip

One Wheel Cappadocia

Director – Sergey Gudzlovenko



Category – Pilgrimage

Treasure Island

Director – Yangirova Anastasia Valeryevna



Category: Adventure

Heraklion – Where the Thread of History Begins

Directors – Indigo View



Category – Environmental

Vandal Tribe

Director – Serghey Shutyi



Category – Sports

Home of Turquoise

Director: Daghan Celayir,

Ministry of Culture and Tourism Turkey



Category – Unique Tourist Site

Color Your Christmas with Zagreb

Producer: Marko Vrdoljak



Category – Cognitive

Dubrovnik and Time

Director: Hervé Tirmarche

Dubrovnik Tourist Board



Category – Ethnographic

Danube In Serbia

Directors : Srdjan Stankovic , Aleksandar Simic




Category – Unique Tourist Site

Saint-Petersburg Fantasy

St. Petersburg Tourist Information Bureau




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