The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

The beginning of Digital cinema


A major leap forward in the future of Sri Lankan cinema, filling a void of a much needed academy to teach cinema, Digital Film Academy (DFA) will be established under Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.

The DFA will be the first and only academy of its kind to teach various aspects of cinema in a country of more than half a century of the cinema industry. The academy will kick off its work with a workshop on “Film Appreciation” conducted with the collaboration of the Indian Cultural Centre and the Film and Television Institute of Pune, an internationally acclaimed educational institution relating to film and television media. A 10 day workshop will be supported by India to celebrate her100 years of being in the cinema industry and during the workshop Indian lecturers will share their knowledge and expertise with Sri Lankan students. The workshop is to cover a wide range of topics including basic concepts of the film medium, history of cinema, basic concepts of film editing, direction, cinematography and sound design, contemporary developments, topics such as short films, documentaries and contemporary South Asian Cinema.

The DFA is also to conduct a four day workshop on cinematography to enhance the knowledge of amateur cinematographers. In addition, a series of workshops on script writing, a mobile film competition and a mobile film festival will take place as a one year project in future.
“The conversion to the digital technology would open many doors for Sri Lankan cinema. At a time when most of the mainstream cinemas have become a failure commercially, we have to resort to alternative ways to strengthen the industry. The digital cinema will find us this alternative path,” Dhanushka Gunathilaka, cinematographer and coordinator of the DFA.
“During the last two years 25 cinemas have been closed. Now there are only 125 theatres in the country and in five years time most of the cinemas would be converted to digital technology,” Gunathilaka said.

Today a major cost of filmmaking is spent on printing copies and distribution, but these can be avoided with digital cinema and also people can enjoy movies at their homes.

Speaking on the DFA, M. Ramachandran, director of Indian Cultural Centre said “At present digital cinema is the way one has to develop cinema in a most democratic way. With the use of digital technology you can also project your own story and reach out to people with one’s own idea,”.
“It is more democratic and more achievable,” he said.

Sudath Mahadiwulvewa, veteran filmmaker and lecturer explained the need of a digital cinema academy. “There are two ways of introducing digital cinema. One way was to start a digital industry with infrastructure or arm the younger generation with the academic knowledge and let them creep in to cinema, which we decide to do,”.

We will reap the harvest of this effort in time to come and I am hopeful that would be very positive, award winning filmmaker said in a hopeful note.

DFA wants a logo

The Digital Film Academy (DFA), one of the major academic arms of the Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF) , has launched a ‘logo design competition’ for the academy, aiming to enhance skills and creativity of young designers of Sri Lanka.
The DFA invites students, media personnel and all others interested in the field of cinema to take part in the logo competition.
Logos can be submitted under six categories namely Word Mark, Pictorial Mark, Abstract Mark, Shield or Emblem Mark, Character Mark and Web 2.0 and there is no restriction on the number of designs that can be submitted by a single applicant. The winner of the competition will be awarded a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 while the first runner up and the 2nd runner up will be entitled to a 10% discount and a 5% discount respectively to pursue any course conducted by the DFA.

All entries shall be forwarded to the email address info.dfa@slf.lk or posted to No. 100, Sri Lanka Padanama Mawatha, Independence Square, Colombo 07.

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