TV Times

Malaka makes to Amsterdam
By Susitha R. Fernando
The hope on the horizon for Sri Lankan cinema as a number of young filmmakers taking an active initiative injecting new life to and creativity to it. They persevere with their dreams of becoming future film director though not sponsored by any governmental or individual organisation.

Malaka Dewapriya director on his own doing short films left for Netherlands to participate at the International Competition of Cinestud's, Amsterdam this year. Malaka contribution is his shorts film 'Life Circle'.

Cinestud '05 focuses on the desires and beliefs of the student-filmmaker. The goal of the organizers is to give a cinematic overview of the ideals and concerns harboured by the students. By making an inventory, rather than presenting a subjective selection, the festival hopes to project an image of what concerns today's young filmmakers.

The student-filmmaker is the future cineast. His/her work is the founding stone for the cinema of tomorrow. While it is the professional filmmaker who is restricted by financial burdens and commercial pressures, the fledgling filmmaker is independent. This often gives rise to challenging and innovative works.

So how does the student-filmmaker use this artistic freedom? How is cinema used as a medium? How are ideals and concerns expressed through this medium? What is there to say about this generation? What values will characterise the coming era?

By giving cinematographers-to-be the opportunity to show their work, the organizers hope to get close to answering these questions. Cinestud '05 offers a platform for the ideals of the upcoming generation of filmmakers.

The International Competition of Cinestud's tenth edition consists of 84 films from 32 different countries. Aiming to give an impression of the international developments in student film, film schools all around the world have been invited to be part of Cinestud '05.

Based on the entries, twelve themes have been formulated, which give an idea of the issues that occupy young filmmakers across the globe. In each theme item, films with diverse views have been put together to give an impression of each theme from different angles. Besides societal relations in 'Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité anno 2005' / 'Conform or Confront', politics in 'We the People' and safety in 'Damocles' Sword', students have also drawn on personal theme's, such as the relationship between the sexes in 'Male - Female', generational conflicts in 'Time is Still - We are Moving' and loyalty in 'Judas' Kiss'. The finding of one's identity or road in life emerges in the items 'Soulsearching', 'Choose life', 'In der Heimat' and 'Life is but a Dream'. The trial between fantasy and reality is represented in 'Esse est Percipi'.

All films in the International Competition compete for the Jury prize of 5000 euro and the Public choice award of 1000 euro. Both prizes will be presented at the grand final party on the 15th of May in nightclub Bitterzoet.

Malaka's film is selected to screen in the competition 'Life is but a Dream'. The woman's life is marked on her body, her fingers her eyes her feet and her hair. It lies in the material surrounding her in swathes. A women life is about material reality it is about her connection to a life of labour and the instruments of labour, here it is the machine. This short film poignantly captures a woman's ties to the machine, that she is productively involves with. While the machine provides her with hope it is also an ominous presence. The film sparse and evocative in capturing the relation between worker and machine, labour, product, women and life.

Playing the woman by Nilu Liyanage, the technical crew in the film include Chintaka Somakeerthi did the lighting and camera, editing is by Harsha Disanayaka and Sarath Pallepitiya, Set design by Roshan Kuruppu and make up was handled by Suresh Perera. To the assistance Indika Udayasiri and Gihan de Chickera, 'Life Circle' is scripted and directed by Malaka Dewapriya. The film was presented by Cinema and Photographic Society of the University of ColomboEarlier Malaka's another short film "Exchange" was selected for the final round of the 'Shorts Shorts' International Short Film Festival, a festival scheduled at the end of October was a competition that runs parallel to the Tokyo International Film Festival. The film was also selected for the final round of the Tenth Tel Aviv Student Short Film Festival. The festival which was rated as one of the top festivals of its kind by 'Cilect' (the international organization of cinema school) was organized by Film Department of the University of Tel-Aviv in Israel.


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