TV Times


Sudath's maiden film gets the final touches

A scene from ' Sudu Kalu saha Alu'

The major part of the production work of Sudath Mahadivulwewa's maiden cinematic experience 'Sudu Kalu saha Alu' White, Black, and Ash and is over and the film has been taken to Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad in India for the final touches. This is the first film to be taken to the well-equipped studio which is spread over 2600 acres with several studios, colour labs and settings and locations.

In addition 'Kalu Sudu saha Alu' being the maiden direction by Sudath the film has added a number of other novel features to the local film scene.

Filming of the movie has been done in a specially built village named 'Kalu Visa Pokuna' inside a forest in the area Palugaswewa in Anuradhapura.

"Most probably this would be the biggest setting created for a Sri Lankan film" Sudath told the TV Times.

"Another special quality of this movie is that it is the first Sri Lankan film made without a single main character. The film has thirteen characters playing equally important roles" Sudath described about his venture into the big screen.

It is also the first time that veteran music director Premasiri Khemadasa was doing a film score to the latest DTS technology and also Elmo Haliday who has won most number of awards for editing using the digital technology for his role as an editor. This also was the first film that is being edited and dubbed in the 'Video Image' studio.

'Sudu Kalu saha Alu' is a joint effort by a group who called themselves "Cine Shilpa". This group consists of scholars and academics with wide research exposure on soci-economic, cultural and human rights aspects including displaced people. Travelling far and wide throughout the island during the past twelve years, they have collected material for the making of this film.

The story narrates the after effects of a long drawn out war. How the people suffer for what they are not responsible.

"Sudu Kalu saha Alu" in a Nutshell........

"When war snatches the lives of this world, it rids the world of its colour, hence the surviving people, neither living nor dead, are left with the shades of ash. This story talks of such people, the souls who have not been given the opportunity to die, nor the pleasure to live. Material destruction caused by war and rampage is measurable, but the destruction caused to the minds of the victims and their lifestyle is infinite".

The cast who play equally important roles are Irangani Serasinghe, Sriyantha Mendis, Sanath Gunathilake, Mahendra Perera, Dilhani Ekanayake, Jayalath Manoratne, Rangana Premaratne, Tyronne Michael, Wasantha Kotuwella, Kumudu Nishantha and Dasun Madhushanka Mendis.

Koshila Jayawardena and Gunadasa Madurasinghe were introduced to the silver screen.

'The Fire & The Rain': Tale of love and lust
'Agni Varsha'- (The fire and the rain) a Hindi film recounting the Indian mythological story from 'Mahabaratha' is being screened at the Liberty cinema in Colombo.

The epic tale with English subtitles directed by Arjun Sajnani and it speaks of power, love, lust, and sacrifice.

The land has been in the grip of a ravaging drought for 10 years. In order to appease the Lord of Gods Indra played by Amitabh Bachchan, custodian of rain, a grand fire sacrifice is being conducted at the palace under the guidance of the Chief Priest, Paravasu (Jackie Shroff). As this sacrifice draws to its close, the story begins.

Paravasu is the elder son of the great sage Raibhya. For seven years he has watched over the holy fire, forsaking his wife, family and every earthly pleasure.
Paravasu's young brother Arvasu (Milind Soman) is in love with a tribal girl, Nittilai (Sonali Kulkarni).

Arvasu prepares to marry outside his Brahmin caste -but for this, according to the tribal custom; he has to present himself before Nittilai's village elders. Paravasu's cousin and bitter rival Yavakri has just returned triumphant after 10 years of practicing austerities in the jungle, with the gift of universal knowledge from the gods. He is resentful of Paravasu's position of Chief Priest, rekindling the rivalry between the two families.

To seek revenge, and assert his position and dominance in the Brahmin community, he seduces Paravasu's abandoned wife Vishakha (Ravena Tandon). Raibhya, Paravasu's father, seeks his own vengeance by going after Yavakri. This sets off an irrevocable chain of events that lead to Aravusu losing his love, Paravasu desecrating the great sacrifice, the creaticin of a demon and the deaths of Yavakri and Raibhya and Paravasu. But the Lord lndra appears to Arvasu as a testament to his innocence and as the giver of boons to the land and its people.

Finally, the purity of Arvasu and the tribal girl Nittilai's, love brings salvation to the land and all those who inhabit it.

"Agni Varsha", the first feature directed by Arjun Sajnani is adapted from the play 'The Fire and the Rain' by one of India's foremost playwrights, Girish Karnad. The story is derived from the myth of Yavakri, which is a part of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata.

The film was shot entirely on location at Hampi, a World Heritage site that is under the stewardship of the Archeological Survey of India.

Running time is 126 minutes and Agni Varsha is released here by Ceylon Entertainment Limited

'Bogala Saundaris' story on exploitation and heroism

Dayaratne Ratagedara's miniplay 'Bogala Saundaris' based on the award winning novel written by Sarath Dharmasena is now being telecast every Saturday at 8.30 pm on the Rupavahini teledrama belt.

A scene from ' Bogala Soundaris'

Made around the character "Saundaris" who lived in the 1880s in an area which was famous for coal mining, the teledrama was produced by Rupavahini Corporation.

Bogala Soundaris is a prisoner who had escaped and becomes a instrument to exploit poor employees in a coal mine.

Eventually certain changes taking place in the cold mine lead Saundaris to turn away from his employer and become a hero of the down trodden and helpless workers.

The locations in the teleplay included Galle and in and area around Colombo including the Welikada prison.

The role of 'Saundaris' is played by Sriyantha Mendis and the cast comprise over 80 players including talented actors like Tony Ranasinghe, Robin Fernando, Suminda Sirisena, Richard Weerakkody, Edward Gunawardena, Jayani Senanayake, Meena Kumari, Nilanthi Wijesinghe and G. R. Perera.

In the technical crew is Ashoka Jayasekara handling the camera, Somaratne Perera with lighting, Ranjith Thilakasiri doing make up and Ranga Bandara and J. M. Dasanthamal assisting in direction.

Lester's latest at Cannes
By Susitha R. Fernando
Lester James Pieris' latest direction "Wekande Walawwe" (Mansion By the Lake) has officially been invited for a special screening at this year's Cannes International Film Festival in France.

'Wekande Walawwe': Malani, Ravi and Sanath

This is the first time that a Sri Lankan film is going to be shown at one of the
world's main film festivals. Only two films have won this rave privilege so far including the film of our most experienced filmmaker in the country today.

The film is to be shown at the prestigious festival through a Paris based company 'Paradis Films' which is widely known for buying and producing quality French films. It is company which has undertaken to screen 'Wekande Walawwe' in France. Agreements have already been signed to screen the film at the end of the festival in one of the cinemas in France and a new copy had already been printed in India for this purpose.

Dr. Pieris' is busy preparing the material including press book, still photographs, synopsis and director's statement that are necessary for the festival and the release.

Earlier in 1992 Dr. Pieris' served in the Cannes Jury and two of his films 'Beddega' and 'Kaliyugaya' too were screened at the festival but this was not in the main section.

The story of 'Wekande Walawwe' is about the collapse of a once rich family with a widow 'Sujatha Rajasuriya' played by Malani Fonseka. Among its members is the younger brother played by Sanath Gunatilake. This family could not adapt themselves to the rapid changes that took place in the political, economic and social sphere during the1970s.

Playing the leading role of a widow in the land owning family Malani Fonseka struggles to keep her Walawwa and property when they were to be mortgaged bank loans.

"Wekande Walawwa" is the first script written by script writer Somaweera Senanayake for a film of Dr. Pieris and this was influenced by the world famous play "Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekov.

Playing the principal characters are Malani Fonseka, Ravindra Randeniya, Sanath Gunatilake, Wasanthi Chathurani, and Paboda Sandeepani. "Wakande Walawwa" introduces a number of newcomers to the screen.

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