With the uncontrollable increase of television time for of quality teledramas with their stories far too closer to reality, amateur performance by untrained actors and actresses with unreasonably extended episodes, the quality of teledrama industry has fallen to a deplorable state. The teledrama directors themselves who made this criticism has requested the government to scrutinize every teledrama through a censor.
The founder President present Chief Organiser of Tele Makers Guild (TMG) and experienced teledrama director Sudath Roahan explained that their main aim of this endeavour is to bring back artistic quality and standard to teledrama and attract the audience which is rapidly getting away from TV. The TMG has handed over a petition to the President and other relevant authorities to intervene and protect the art of teledrama.
The so called ‘Mega teledramas’ have almost destroyed the popular cultural genre, which was introduced to the country by the award winning filmmaker Dr. D. B. Nihalsinghe with his direction ‘Dimuthu Muthu’ in the early 1980s, the directors complained. The trend was started with foreign teledramas been telecast with subtitles of local languages, which also became a highly profitable business. Lured by the huge financial profits, the same trend was followed by some of the Sri Lankan directors who made dramas drag on to hundreds and hundreds of episodes.
“An immediate solution is needed for this dangerous trend which has given way to so many unethical practices affecting the art, culture and accepted family norms,” Sudath Rohana said.
The teledrama makers have requested the government to scrutinize teledramas through the Public Performance Board (PPB) like other performing arts such as cinema, theatre and even music.
“If even a musical show has to be examined by the censor board, it is strange why teledrama which has become a common media watched by millions is not examined,” Sudath said.
The medium of teleplays was not included to go through the censor board because at the time PPB was established there was no medium of teledrama in the country. “Besides the artistic quality of the teledrama at the beginning was so high that it did not need a censor,” director Sudath Rohana said
The TMG also complained that the unethical advertising practices followed by both the private and state television channels have ignored the artistic importance of teledrama which has also contributed to the tragedy.
At the beginning a teledrama episode received a 25 minute time slot and there were some advertisers who did not wish to advertise in the middle of a teledrama as it would disturb the audience and affect the work of art,” Sudath said.
But today in a complete contrast not only the teledrama time is reduced to just 15 to 16 minutes but every single frame is filled with continuous stripes of advertisement all over the screen.
The television channels have completely ignored the fact that every single frame of a teledrama is a result of a massive artistic research and preparation involving a large number of artistes both in front and behind the screen.
“The tragedy is that this unfortunate trend started by the private channels is now being used by the state television channels as well,” Sudath spoke on behalf of the TMG.
“The state television which has to be a guide to the private media has blatantly violated the advertising ethics and almost destroyed the artistic form of the teledrama. This has unfortunately resulted in talented teledrama directors leaving the medium.
World literature for teleplay
‘Dooli Pintharu’ a teledrama made based on the world renowned novel “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo is to be telecast at 8.30 pm belt on every Sunday starting from September 18. Based on the 1962 French novel which is considered as one of the greatest piece of literature in nineteenth century, the screenplay for the teledrama is written by Thushari Abeysekera.
The teleplay is directed by award wining director Santhus Liyanage and it is pruced by Rupavahini Teledrama Unit.
The miniplay stars Anoma Janadari, Chamila Peiries, Jayani Senanayake, Priyankara Ratnayake, Lucian Bulathsinghala, Seetha Kumari, Nilmini Buwaneka, Wathsala Ranasinghe, Sanjeewa Upendra, Jehan Srikantha, Priyantha Siri Kumara, Ratna Sumanapala, Ganga Jeewani Weliwatte, Nuwangi Liyanage, Sanet Dikkumbura and Gayesha Perera.
The 36-episode teledrama was shot for 90 days in a large number of locations including Riverstan, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Ratnapura, Colombo Fort and a few scenes in Galle Fort.
Director Santhusha Liyanage says that making of this teledrama was a completely different experience as a world renowned story set in the West was recreated in Sri Lanka.
“In order to maintain the quality that requires by this wonderful story we had to deploy various artistic skill. For example the using of language in this teledrama is different from the ordinary usage but it does not disturb the audience,” he said.
“Dooli Pintharu is the fourth teledrama directed by Liyanage who had won a number of tele awards both here and abroad. Started with ‘Kahala Nadaya’, Liyanage directed two series of tele plays under the titles ‘Vishwanthara’ and ‘Jeewanthara’ based on world renowned short stories. His story in ‘Vishwanthara’ was nominated for the best final six tele products of Seoul International Television Awards in 2007.
Seafood fair at Cinnamon Lakeside
For those with a taste for underwater specialties, Cinnamon Lakeside hosts a regular seafood affair where diners decide how their seafood is prepared. The event takes place on the Terrace, a dazzling venue with a view of the swimming pool as well as the Beira Lake ahead.
The hotel is reputed for hosting a range of special events to cater to diverse palates. Splendours of the Sea promotion will be held on the 15 and 16 of September from 7.00pm to 11.00pm.
‘Splendours of the Sea’ offers an extensive variety of seafood including a buffet of starters, mains and desserts for a mere Rs. 1,500++++. “We take pleasure in hosting promotions that are almost too good to be true,” proclaims Faizeen Jameel, Food and Beverage Manager at Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo “Diners patronise the hotel because they know they are getting real value for money amongst other reasons.”
A quick glance at the buffet is evidence enough. Red Snapper, Oyster, Sea Bass, Seer, Prawns, Crabs, Tuna, Oysters and Handallo and a plethora of other types of seafood are presented on ice. Lobster too is available at an additional charge per 100 grams. Diners select as they please and the hotel’s chefs offer them a choice of preparation – grilled, devilled, fried or cooked in Chinese or Thai style.
An international dinner buffet will accompany the seafood and consists of salads, pastas, rice and lasagna, along with a variety of vegetable and meat dishes. Diners are advised to save some space for the dessert buffet which comprises a delightful arrangement of sweets and puddings.
Call for reservations and inquiries on 2491998.