TV Times

‘Mr. Holland’ performs at American Centre
By Susitha R. Fernando

Talented director Mohan Niyaz is to introduce a new genre, 'Black Comedy' to Sri Lankan filmmaking with his latest 'Api Merenne Nehe' (We do not Die) which will start its shooting on location on the first week of October.

Well-known for his earlier directions like 'Yasoma' 'Blendings' 'Kalu Sudu Mal and 'Eka Malaka Pethi', Niyaz is preparing to show a different kind of a comedy, which was not highlighted in local cinema earlier.

‘Our comedies were mainly for the purpose of entertainment and there is no depth in them. When it comes to black comedy, serious problems are discussed with a lighter presentation. Though there is humour, strong messages are passed through them,’ Mohan said describing his latest venture.
‘The features of black comedy were experimented in the stage by several playwrights. But it never came to Sri Lankan cinema," he added. "I myself experimented it with 'Maya Devi' stage play produced in 1980,".

‘Api Merenne Nehe’ revolves around a man who pretends his death, witnesses the reaction of the society and which places him in a complex situation and makes him frustrated.

The central character Manoj Amarajeewa is a middle-aged father of two sons and while on an official trip in the vehicle he was travelling is blown off by a claymore, killing all the passengers. However Amarajeewa escapes as he had got off the vehicle a few minutes before the blast. Yet he continues to remain dead making the company to pay compensation for his loss. Everybody believes him and the secret was shared only with his buddy, Ginige. Amarajeewa even attends to his funeral in disguise.
However the funeral proceedings make Amarajeewa frustrated, yet he cannot commit suicide for obvious reasons.

The film is scripted by award winning playwright and script writer K. B. Herath. "Scripting a black comedy is not an easy task because it's far deeper than an average comedy. And K. B. relieved me from this difficult task," Mohan said.

Award winning actor Palitha Silva is to play the main role as Amarajeewa and Semini Iddamalgoda as his wife. Budding cinema actor Kumara Thirimadura is to play Amarajeewa's friend Ginige while Sanoja Bibile as his wife.

Among the other stars in the stellar cast are Anton Jude, Sarath Kotalawela, J. B. Gangodatenna, Upali Keerthisena, Ashoka Soysa, Lucky Dias, Chanchala Warnasuriya, Kamal Dilshan, Chaminda Wickremasinghe and Roshan Jayasundara.

'Api Merenne Nehe' also introduced two new producers Ruwan Rukmal Tilakaratne and Anusha Mediwaka to the local cinema. K. D. Dayananda will handle the camera direction while Lesley Wimal art direction and Saneera Dinesh Kumara make-up and Roshan Jayasundara will assist the direction. The main locations for one month scheduled shooting will be Colombo, Kandy, Kalutara and Panadura and Niyas is hopeful that it would be able to release the film in December this year.

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