December 29, 1948|
|Occupation||Film director, producer, screenwriter, entrepreneur|
President and CEO of Asian Film Locations Services|
Ex-Chairman of Lionair
Chairman of Asian Aviation Centre
|Children||James, Daniel, Evelyn, Chanel, Danara|
Asian Film Locations Services|
Asian Aviation Centre
Rutnam has hosted numerous Hollywood films for their location shoots in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. He was the Line Producer/Production Supervisor on several international productions including the Sri Lankan location shoot of Paramount Pictures' Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Indochine (1992). He is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Film Location Services which mostly hosts foreign films to be shot in South and South East Asia.
Steven Spielberg once referred to Rutnam as "Our most valued friend in the Far East". Rutnam has also worked with Sir David Lean, Sir Carol Reed, John Boorman, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Regis Wargnier.
Rutnam wrote the screenplay, produced, directed and edited the film The Road from Elephant Pass, which was a Finalist Award Winner at the New York International Television and Film Awards in 2011. He also wrote the adapted screenplay and produced and directed, A Common Man which starred Sir Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross. The film was nominated for the four main awards at the Madrid International Film Festival in 2013, winning the Best Picture, Best Director and the Best Actor awards.
Rutnam was born to a Tamil father Dr. James T. Rutnam and a Sinhala mother Evelyn Wijeyaratne. He lived in Los Angeles, California for 38 years and now resides in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He is a brother of Jayam Rutnam, the founder of the Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California (SLAASC).
Life and career
Rutnam was a school boy when David Lean arrived in Sri Lanka to shoot his Second World War epic, The Bridge on the River Kwai. The film crew hired a house that belonged to his parents for the shooting. Due to this exposure, to the consternation of his parents, he dropped out of school and went to London to pursue his dream of a career in films. He later moved to the United States and attended the film school at the University of Southern California and the San Fernando Valley College of Law. While working in Hollywood studios, Rutnam's break in selling Sri Lankan locations to international filmmakers came when he managed to convince John Derek, director of Tarzan the Apeman, to shoot the film in Sri Lanka rather than in Africa.
Rutnam also dreamt of making a mark in the aviation field. He said "I was the sort of guy who would go to an airport and watch the planes taking off. I remember as a kid, I went to the Colombo port and watched the ships coming and going out. I do not know whether it was wanderlust or freedom of movement. I do not know which one it was. Some years ago a friend of mine and I decided that we should have an airline."  He founded Asian Aviation Centre and Lionair. Lionair was established in October 1993 and started its operations on 24 October 1994. Lionair suspended its domestic services when an Antonov An-24 aircraft went missing shortly after it took off from Jaffna in 1998, but resumed services in October 2002.
Awards and nominations
|1990||Sarasaviya Award||Best Camera||Witness to a Killing – Janelaya||Won|
|1999||Presidential Awards||Best Picture||Pilgrimage - Theertha Yathra||Won|
|2011||New York International Television and Film Awards||Best Film||The Road from Elephant Pass||Won|
|2013||Madrid International Film Festival||Best Director||A Common Man||Won|
George Lucas and Chandran Rutnam
Rutnam with Steven Spielberg at a benefit honoring Spielberg (December 9, 2009)
- "RUTNAM: like in the movies". Daily News. September 25, 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- "Breaking the artificial barriers". Sunday Observer. February 11, 2007. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- "Dream locales in Lanka". Nirupama Subramaniam. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- "Moving movie man dreams on". Bandula Jayasekara. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- "Hollywood gets Tsunami plea". BBC. January 19, 2005. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
- "Lankans' film wins three awards". The Island. July 8, 2013. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- "Demand for local pilots increasing". The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. August 31, 2009. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2011-04-29.
- Flight International 5–11 April 2005
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