Prasanna rewrites history in Cairo
The focus at the 30th Cairo International Film Festival December 8, 2006 was on young and talented Sri Lankan filmmaker, Prasanna Jayakody who won 'Silver Pyramid award' the award for the best film director.
Prasanna won the Special Jury Prize 'The Silver Pyramid' as a recognition for his creative and directorial ability. The Jury reasoned its selection stating "We wish to underline the very special nature of this award, and the fact that it shows a cinematic achievement of the highest level by director Prasanna Jayakody".
Prasanna commenting on his achievement spoke on his experience at the international film festival in Cairo.
|Director Prasanna Jayakody
"This was my first film and it was my first experience at an international film festival. I learnt a lot about how films are selected for competition and the basis of judgment within a given area," said Prasanna refreshing his memory.
"While the festival was continuing more and more films with their high technical quality and proficiency … I lost hope on any award at the final round. I realized from the start that the film was quite popular as directors and viewers wished me "well-done Sankara" as I passed them.
"There were lot of Latin American films and the head of the jury was from Argantina. We were under the impression that a Latin American film would win the major award not because of any favrousim but because the jury could empathize with the cultural aspects and the prevailing ambiance.
Finally on the award night I realized I was mistaken," explained Prasanna at length.
"I was really impressed by the way the jury members associated with the filmmakers. During a coffee or a meal they used to talk with us and about our films. But never showed any favouritism that is why I was clueless during those ten days of waiting. But just before the award ceremony one of the jury members, a woman smiled at me signalling victory that was when I realized that there would be an award for me. The 'Silver Pyramid' was far from my thoughts".
'Golden Pyramid' award given to best film goes to the producer of the film. 'Silver Pyramid' for Best director. Prasanna is overjoyed for he has realized that the best director's award was for creative coordination and effective blending of existing talents that goes to make an innovative cinematic creation effectively.
According to this unassuming director, the happiest thing for him was that he it was the success of getting the message across to audience and jury despite all cultural barriers that gave him the happiness of achievement.
|Prasanna being welcomed by Minister Susil Premajayantha, producers Somaratna Dissanayake and Renuka Balasuriya and his wife and daughter at the BIA.
"A jury member spoke at length about my film analysing each frame and explaining and clarifying justly. He said my message was unfolded at the commencement of the film itself that is at the opening shot. I was really impressed by the way he had appreciated the film without knowing much about Buddhism or Sri Lankan culture," Prasanna explained.
What gives me satisfaction is that my story was interpreted correctly across the cultural boarders.
Prasanna's award from Cairo comes after 28 years, it was Dr. Lester James Peries who won the first award, the Best Film from the Third World Countries for his 'Ahasin Wetunu Minissu' in 1978.
Though the said category was not existing anymore, the film festival has other competive catogaries such as Feature Digital Film, Best Arabic Film, International Critics Prize FIPRESCI and the International Competition from which Prasanna won the award.
The TV Times wishes Prasanna success at the ongoing Kerala International Film Festival where 'Sankara' is competing in the final round-competitive section.