TV Times

Plight of Filmmaking

Film makers express concern over crisis in cinema

Three internationally acclaimed filmmakers for the first time came to one platform to talk about the pathetic plight of the current Sri Lankan cinema.

Prasanna Vithange, Asoka Handagama and Vimukthi Jayasundara three filmmakers of the present generation of country’s cinema spoke at the release of DVD and screenplay of Prasanna Vithanage’s latest film ‘Akasa Kusum’ at the National Library Service Council in Colombo last week.

Compeered by actress and playwright Kaushalya Fernando, the event was more of a platform to discuss about the serious issues faced by the present and future filmmakers and the industry.

Addressing the packed audience Prasanna Vithanage outlined the difficulties faced by filmmakers and the risk involved in film production.

He described in detail the problems faced by producers and said it had discouraged newcomers to the industry. “The risk of making a film has to be shared not only by the producer but by the distributor as well,” he said.

“This system strangles the filmmakers and producers,” Vithanage said. Referring to the awards and felicitation when an artiste wins international recognition, Prasanna Vithanage said ‘there are dinners and felicitations organized for Malani Fonseka but there are no plans to produce another such talented actress in future’.

‘The politicians of this country are very well aware what a set of fools their subjects are,’ internationally acclaimed filmmaker said highlighting the lack of interest and support shown by the different political parties towards the development of film industry over the years.

Asoka Handagama highlighted the pathetic level of the political thinking in the country where some politicians who were contesting in the upcoming elections have said that the act of censoring and imposing of a ban on cinema creations were reasons for them to be elected to parliament by the people.

“Using the mass media, these politicians and their supporters have painted a completely false picture about some filmmakers to gain cheap popularity,” the controversial filmmaker said in sad note.

Young filmmaker, Vimukthi Jayasundara addressing the audience said that it was pathetic to see that the people did not learn lessons from history. “As an artiste it is depressing for us to see them over and over again. Yet we have a responsibility to continue our journey of filmmaking” he said.

“We have been forced to make films which we do not like to see,” Vimukthi said. Pic by Wasantha Weerasinghe

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