TV Times
5th August 2001
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Mardi Gras rocks the city

By Jodie Jenkins
With an outstanding line up the Josephian Mardi Gras had promised to be a night of great entertainment and with the contemporary sounds of bands such as Wildfire and Ultimate and the carnivalistic feel brought by Annesley Malawana and Neson Thyagarajah the bustling crowd were not disappointed. 

Opening the festivities Damian, accompanied by a grand chorus of bagpipes, raised the crowd from their seats with his rendition of the college anthem. Continuing by joining the opening act, Wildfire, the night was to mark his first official staged appearance since his joining the group.

The popular band began the nights entertainment with one of the most electrifying performances I have seen from them. With sensationally covered versions of songs from a number of the greats including The Beatles and The Eagles the crowd did not resume their sitting position for long. The band, as usual, created the perfect party atmosphere with great ease.

But for me one of the most entertaining performances of the night came as the lights dimmed and the spotlight was placed on Neson Thyagarajah.

Introduced as the best percussionist in Sri Lanka if not the world this amazingly talented musician gave an outstanding performance. Coming together with the more modern sounds of Wildfires drummer, Chris Dason, the two different artists styles complemented each other perfectly really captivating that celebratory Mardi Gras feel.

A female touch was brought in by Natasha Fernando and Ginger as they continued the party mood singing upbeat songs such as 'Everybody', 'love again' and 'I will survive'. The energetic performances of both of the girls had nearly everybody clapping their hands singing along.

But the true crowd pleaser came in the form of the only Sinhala singer of the night, an ex Josephian himself, Annesley Malawana. As the whole audience rose and teens jumped off the balconies in order to get room to dance it was obvious that this joyful and lively music was greatly appreciated by what had become a very active crowd.

Although there were a few problems with the sound the production team must be complimented on the dramatic and dazzling light display. "The lights were so cool" commented a young Josephian sitting close to me and I must admit they were the best I have seen in Sri Lanka, complementing both the musicians and the atmosphere.

The night was most definitely a great success. The chairman of sports commented that the school had not only had extremely positive feedback from the audience but had also reach-ed their fundra-ising target of Rs one million, which can now be used for the development of sports and other extra curricular activities. 

Natasha Fernando of Ex-Dreamteam fame sings at the Terrace of Mount Lavinia Hotel every Friday from 7.30 pm to 12 midnight. She is backed by Inshiran and Prageeth, two of the top young musicians in the scene today.

'Summer Daze' @ the Chameleon

"Summer Daze" a grand summer party will be held at the 'Chameleon Night Club' of the Hotel Eden, Beruwela on August 18. 

When you think "down south" the first words that come to mind are undoubtedly the sun, surf and sand but what if you add the total rave experience to it? Won't it be just the right combination for perfect happening weekend? That's exactly what this novel experience has in store for you.

A night full of the most scintillating Trance, Tribal, Progressive dance and House tunes, accompained by mind blowing sound and lighting, plus a whole bunch of prizes and surprises await at "Summer Daze", the ultimate party experience at Eden.

"If you enjoy the future music revolution this is the event for you" says the main organiser of the event DJ Ben, the host of the Open House Party on TNL Radio." The whole event is based on a rave concept where there will be loads of gyrating dance tunes you can dance your heart out to plus fruit stalls, energy drinks and the works" he said. 

The performers will also be a class of their own. Ben along with Everton from Sound EFX entertainments leading the way, while DJ Tariq (The former host of the Open House Party) and DJ Tim of Sound Factor will be playing guest spots with a host of other DJ's.

The venue for this once in a lifetime event is the extremely cool Chameleon nightclub of Eden, which is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious hotels down the coast. In association with Red Bull Energy Drink, the media sponsors for this event are TNL Radio along with The Sunday TV Times and The Daily Mirror.

'Stars of 70's' : Last Show in Colombo for the year 2001

The popular "Stars of 70's will be staged for the last time in Colombo on August 11 at the B.M.I.C.H. - Starting at 6.30 p.m. 

The show will feature:- Indrani & Irangani Perera of Three Sisters, Joe B. Perera of Meemesso, Errol & Maria Fernando of Los Cabeleros, Priya Pieris of LaBambas, Dharmaratne Brothers, Maxwell Mendis of Mendis Foursome, Merril Fernando of Amigos Romanticas, Roy Fonseka of Samanalayo, Anil Bharetti, Rajiv Sebastian, Lilanthi Karunananayake and Annesley Malawana. 

Music will be provided by Simple led by Mahesh Silva. The dance items will be by Channa Wijewardene's Troupe and the master of ceremonies will be Vijaya Corea. 

The Show is organised by the O.B.U of D.S. Senanayake College in aid of their Sports Development Fund. Tickets are available at Torana Music Box, Liberty Plaza and Majestic city. 

'Arumosam Wehi' to storm Lankan cinema

Muhurath ceremony was held for the third directorial venture of film maker Priyantha Kolambage, "Arumosam Wehi" at Russian Centre recently. Priyantha is the director of two films "Dehana" and " Vimukthi".

"Arumosam Wehi" is a story woven around a circus that came to a remote village few decades ago. It highlights the changes taking place in the traditional lives of the people there. It occupies a playground where children used to play. 

Then the film depicts how the traditional village is subjected to changes with this new entry. Opening shops around the circus the villagers change their occupations from traditional cultivation. 

'Arumosam Wehi' focuses on the central figure "Bindu" played by Mahendra Perera, the clown of the circus who is been ill-treated by the manager (W. Jayasiri). The manager is working hard to own the circus team. 

He secretly plans to get away from Bindu first and achieve his goal before arrival of the owner. But Bindu who looks up to the owner is against the manager's plot. 

Meanwhile Bindu with Laila, a girl in the circus team gets friendly with the children in the area and the couple volunteer to teach them all about the acts. However Bindu finds out about one of the plans hatched on him and meets with an accident. 

The manager makes another attempt by accusing him of a theft. 

But Bindu's friend Laila together with the children help him to get rid of the accusation. With the real culprit being found. 

A stellar cast that includes W. Jayasiri, Mahendra Perera, Nuwangi Liyanage, Wasantha Wittachchi and number of child actors. 

Art director is Athul Sulthanagoda, screen play by Jayantha Kolambage, and Suminda Weerasinghe behind the camera.

Samantha Perera introduces to the screen music and lyrics written by Nilar M. Cassim. The film is produced under the sponsorship of National Film Corporation.

'Me Mage Sandai' breaks all traditions

By Susitha R. Fernando.
For the first time breaking the traditional film releasing system talented film maker Ashoka Handagama is to present his internationally acclaimed film "Me Mage Sandai" (This is my moon) to Sri Lankan film audiences. 

The maiden show will be at Elphinstone Theatre on August 10 and then it would go not to the cinema halls as the custom but to other theatres and community halls in towns and villages where the film is invited. 

'Me Mage Sandai' has already represented over ten international film festivals winning several awards. Selected for the experimental section in the London Film Festival it grabbed the award for the Best film at the 'Joungu' International Film Festival in Korea and Bronze Remi award for the Best Feature film at the Houston International Film Festival. In addition the film will be shown at the Sydney Asia Pacific Film Festival this month followed by Delhi - Cinemaya IFF and has been selected as the opening film at the Paris Autumn IFF. 

Ashoka Handagama young director had not only revolutionized the Sinhala or Asian cinema language but had challenged the traditional world of films. 

The most experienced film director of Sinhala cinema, Lester James Peries was assigned to work on promoting this film when a Bank refused to grant a loan. 

The veteran film director in the country was shocked to see the young director's attempt and he expressed that this young director had daringly taken the Sinhala cinema into a new dimension and it had a totally new concept which is quite different from any other Sinhala film produced to date. He viewed "the film is the first of its own kind and presented in a way that it has its own originality". 

Some critiques described this internationally acclaimed film as the third revolution of Sinhala cinema which started with Lester's "Gam Peraliya" and followed by Dharmasena Pathiraja's "Ahas Gawwa". 

The film opens when a trapped and frightened young Tamil woman falls into a bunker in which a Sinhalese Army soldier cowers alone. The frightened woman in order to save her life submits to his advances. After two nights alone with the woman the soldier deserts the Army. 

The deserter walks into this maelstrom of discontent unwillingly trailing another woman and thus upsetting the order of things. Jealousy, betrayals, hatred and lust now stalk the village. Her beauty destroys even the stoic renunciations of the lonely Buddhist monk. 

The film is completely about war, but it is something more than a mere war between two parties. It is a war in everyone's mind living in a village stricken with despair and where there are no jobs and little money. Their only hope is that their sons, brothers and husbands will join the army. Then, they can live off the soldiers' wages, or reap the windfall of the compensation payment if their men are killed in action. 

The director depicts the how the individual mind works in war-torn society. He depicts how human relationship, religious beliefs, social customs, youthfulness and passion change dramatically in a such a society. 

In this revolutionary film, director Ashoka Handagama had challenged all the accepted film making traditions. Armed with few celluloid shots which were set disorderly, the young director had powerfully passed his message to his audience. The form of this novel film making has no form. But this unique method which is typical of him has drawn the attention to think seriously on Sinhala cinema. 

Economist in profession, this revolutionary film maker came via the theatre and small screen. Starting with the stage play "Thunder" in 1985 he won several awards at the State Drama Festival and his second attempt on the stage "Magatha" (Don't Kill) too won the awards for Best script and Best Director in 1988. He has written and directed four award winning television drama series and one tele-film. His first film, "Chanda Kinnarie" (Moon Lady) won several awards including awards for Most Promising Director in 1994 and the OCIC award and for Best film, Best Director and Best screenplay. 

Speaking on the introduction of new film releasing system the young director said " this was not the first time I attempted an alternative film releasing system and this is not nothing new to other countries where there are rich film cultures. This would be a first step to make a film audience". 

According to the film maker this would be a beginning for an alternative cinema from the mainstream film releasing culture which is targeted only on providing entertainment or to get financial gain. In his view majority movie-goers today enter the cinema halls just as a habit but not in search of real cinematic experience." Shows will be organised in theatres and community centres instead traditional shows in cinema theatres and the tickets will be on flat rates which everybody can afford. Asked about this new experimentation and the risk on him determined film maker said "What I wanted to do is to present my film with a pride and not only to make it a mere entertainment material but more a aesthetic expression." "Shows have already been organised in many areas in the country." he added. 

Questioned on highlighting feature of his film, the imaginary village the creative film maker said " My main purpose is to make the geographical areas for self expression and create characters to pass my message". 

Handagama had gone not only beyond the traditional outward appearance and the his self expression but had explore into the micro limits of the human heart which includes jealousy, hatred, passion and etc.,. 

Handagama's film has gone beyond the traditional style of Hollywood nor Bollywood narratives of film making but something novel to him and whole world of film. It has no proper plot, no suspense and it stands against all existing norms at film making. Inquired about this he said "I went to the ailments at the very beginning of film making, even before the direction of the film "The Great Train Robbery".

"I have applied only the most primitive technique of shot joining and it has no panning, zooming nor tracking" he echoed. The film uses the most fundamental way of framing, the static frame. 

"The was main reason why my film was selected for all these international film festivals". he added Hopeful for better cinema culture he said that there are so many talents to come up in addition to those who already come in the field. The responsibility of the authority to make the ground to plant this talent and at least to allow them go on their way.

Asked about a view for better Sri Lanka cinema in future he said "We are at the receiving end in the world. We are welcoming everything but we don't have anything to give the world unless we become novel". 

'Shadow Worriors'

The more impossible the mission, the sooner they call in the SEALS, the Navy's elite commandos and the world's toughest heroes.

Terry Hulk Hogan stars as Mike McBride, the legendary SEAL leader and martial arts master in an explosive adventure that moves "chase" onto a whole new level of non-stop thrills

Mike McBride must not only beat his arch-enemy, the drug lord Gallindo (Billy Drago); he has to capture him and rescue the US gymnastics team who are being held hostage on Devil's Island.

But SEALS fight just as fiercely on water as they do on land which means McBride, his pal Leroy (Carl Weathers) and the delicious and highly dangerous Hunter (Shannon Tweed) fight off killer sharks as well as dangerous cliffs and total treachery in order to bring 'em back alive.

That's no small feat in this non-stop action adventure. High risk and danger are waiting at every turn. But McBride and his team are unstoppable. It's a good thing they're on our side.

On Swarnavahini at 9.30 p.m. on Monday August 6

Busy Schedules for Material Mom

Keeping an eye on the bottom line, Madonna, 43, is refusing to offer celebrities complimentary seats to her Drowned World Tour, it was reported last week. Now comes financial news of a more serious nature. 

The Material Music Mogul's L.A.-based record label, Maverick - which is also home to Canadian rocker Alanis Morissette, whose most recent albums have not been hits - has lost its president, who resigned, and has fired five other staff members, Variety reported on Friday. Reports say that Madonna herself approved the shakeup in an attempt to stem red ink flowing at Maverick, where losses have amounted to as much as an estimated $60 million. 

"She's involved in all major decisions at the company," Ronnie Dashev, one of Madonna's partners at the music label, told the New York Post. Dashev declined to say whether or not Madonna spoke personally with departing president Bill Bennett, who was with Maverick for two years. Madonna runs Maverick as a joint venture with Warner Bros.

'Madonna in Action' on Music Television On ETV at 7.00 p.m. 

New heads for THASL

By Santh Weerasuriya
The 36th Annual General Meeting of the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) was held at Mahaweli Reach Hotel in Kandy on July 21. 

A. Kumar Mallimarachchi of Associated Hotels Limited was elected as the new president of THASL, while Managing Director of Jetwing Hotel's Hiran Cooray was elected as the vice president of the Association representing the resort hotels. 

Mr. M. Shanthikumar of Holiday Inn hotel was selected as vice president representing city hotels and Jayantha Panabokke, the Managing Director, Mahaweli Reach Hotel was elected as the vice president of 'general interest'. 

Malin Hapugoda of Club Paradise represented small hotels and guest houses was elected as a vice president of the THASL. 

The committee members of the Association comprises J. Kehelpannala, the Director Marketing of Ceylon Holiday Resorts, Anil Perera, GM. Hotel Casamara, Kandy, Ronald Perera, GM of Hotel Sapphire, Sanath Ukwatte, the Chairman of Mount Lavinia Hotel, Ravi Thambiayah, Chairman/MD of Renuka Hotel, Sri Lal Miththapala, CEO of Serendib Leisure, Eraj Abeywardena, Executive Assistant Manager of Lanka Oberoi, Roshan Perera, GM Thilanka Hotel, Stephan Furkhan, MD, Eden Hotels and K. Mohankumar, GM, Taj Samudra. 

The new members of the regional associations were also elected at that meeting. 

L. W. Mayadunne of Giritale Hotel was elected as the President of the Cultural Triangle Hoteliers' Association while Timothy Paldano of Hotel Tree of Life was selected as the President of Kandy Hoteliers'' Association. 

The Beruwala Hoteliers' Association selected Anura Lokuhetti of Confifi as its President and Adrian Kulatunga of Blue Water elected as the President of Kalutara Hoteliers' Association. 

Tyronne Perera and Siri Goonewardena were named as the Presidents for Negombo and Hikkaduwa Hoteliers Associations respectively. 

Colombo City Tourist Hotels Association elected Eraj Abeywardena as its President. 

Thomas Fruechtl of Mount Royal Hotel became the President of Mount Lavinia Hoteliers' Association and K. Somapala Perera of New Oriental Hotel became the President of Ruhunu Hoteliers' Association. 

The outgoing President of the Association, Prema Cooray, in his speech, commended the effectiveness of the Competitiveness, Initiative started by USAID, together with the main Associations in the industry, in order to project Sri Lanka beyond the "Beach Concept" of tourism. He also commended the initiative taken by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board to draw up a three year Strategic Marketing Plan and to set up a Tourism Promotion Bureau, after deliberations with the industry, to market the destination in an effective manner. 

Mr. Cooray, also highlighted the activities successfully undertaken by the Association during the past year and concluded by noting that the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, was working towards creating unity among all concerned in the industry, which would provide an ideal opportunity to achieve the outlined strategies in the near future. 

At the conclusion of the usual business of the Annual General Meeting, Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Tourism and Sports, and Renton De Alwis, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, addressed the participants. 

Renton De Alwis outlined the future plans envisaged by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board and requested the support and cooperation of all in the industry to achieve the targeted objectives.

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