The renowned French filmmaker was inspired by the dedication and creativity of Soneva Fushi’s Hosts
Soneva, the luxury resorts operator with award-winning properties in the Maldives and Thailand, is celebrating its landmark 25th anniversary with a 12 month campaign starting from this month. To mark the occasion, renowned French filmmaker, Bruno Aveillan, has created a new series of films that focus on the driving force behind Soneva’s success: its people. The films, available to view on Soneva’s youtube channel here, take an in-depth look at some of the fascinating individuals who represent every facet of the Soneva brand, from the dedicated guardians of the islands’ natural beauty to the skilled creatives whose diverse talents shape the unforgettable Soneva experience.
An acclaimed filmmaker, photographer and artist, Aveillan is considered one of the most in-demand directors on the planet, working with world-renowned brands that include Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel and Time Warner. A recipient of more than 200 awards, including multiple Gold Lions at Cannes, Gold Clio Awards and Grand Prix Stratégie, Aveillan’s name has become a by-word for modern cinematographic excellence. A staunch Soneva enthusiast since his first stay at Soneva Fushi, Aveillan was also behind the lens for Soneva’s 2018/19 Festival of Colour campaign, which brought to life the diverse array of unique guest experiences, visiting experts and activities taking place throughout the year, inspired by the vibrant palette of hues at Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva Kiri.
The director’s latest film series focuses on Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll, which was the first Soneva resort to open its doors back in 1995, setting a new standard in sustainable luxury and transforming the hospitality sector in the Maldives archipelago and beyond. Featuring one four minute long brand film and ten shorter videos, the series was shot against the backdrop of Soneva Fushi’s idyllic natural beauty and is bathed in the island’s sublime golden sunlight.
“By directing this new opus for this enchanting place, I had the great opportunity to meet what perhaps constitutes the absolute treasure of this pure jewel on earth: its human beings,” says Aveillan. “Day by day, these people make the dream happen, shaping the soul and creating the legend of Soneva. Happy birthday, dearest Soneva!”
The films star some of Soneva Fushi’s best-loved Hosts, many of whom have been with the resort since the very beginning. Both Shantha, Soneva Fushi’s chocolate maestro and talented head Pastry Chef, and Rocket, the island’s sustainable fisherman, joined the Soneva family back in 1995. Kudafari’s connection with the resort dates back even further – he was the caretaker of Kunfunadhoo who helped founders Sonu and Eva discover the island, and his pet rabbit was the ancestor of all the famous bunnies who now call Soneva Fushi their home. Living proof that Soneva Fushi is one of the world’s most romantic destinations, husband and wife Hosts, Shameem and Aju, reveal the story of how they first met and fell in love on the island. Skilled sommeliers Charles and Mariko explain the passions that drive them, while tailor Ali introduces his son, who now works for Soneva, too. Viewers also get to meet Construction Director Ahmed and Abdulla, the Resort Housekeeper, and discover more about their key role in creating and maintaining the beautiful natural setting and spectacular architecture that are synonymous with the Soneva brand.
“2020 is a very special year for Soneva so we decided to create a film series to commemorate our landmark 25th anniversary and show our appreciation for our extended Soneva family,” says Sonu Shivdasani, Founder and CEO of Soneva. “With a plethora of awards, including several Gold Cannes Lions, London International Awards and New York Clios, we were very lucky that acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Bruno Aveillan agreed to direct it. A Soneva enthusiast himself, Bruno has created several short films for us over the years, such as ‘The Boy with the Coconut’, and, more recently, our ‘Festival of Colours’ film series. We are delighted with the final cut and cannot wait to share the series with the world so that people can get to know some of the of the remarkable individuals who have played a role in our success.”
To view Soneva’s full 25th anniversary campaign including a curated collection of videos by Bruno Aveillan, and Soneva’s gallery of old photos since 1995, please visit: https://soneva.com/25-years-of-soneva