TV Times

‘Machan’ wins kudos at Kerala
By Susitha R. Fernando

'Machan', Academy nominated filmmaker Ubarto Passilini's Sri Lankan production won the Audience award at the recently held 13th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala. A co-production by filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage, out of 14 films in the competitive section, 'Machan' won the hearts of the film audience becoming the most popular film in the festival.

‘Machan' was the Sri Lankan representation, at the well-known festival where films from Asia, Africa and Latin America competed. Earlier 'Machan' won the Europa Cinemas Label prize as best pic in the Venice festival's Venice Days section at the Venice International Film Festival-2008.

Among the other international festival, the film is scheduled to be screened at Palm Spring International Film Festival in USA which will take place from the second week of January. Following Kerala film Festival, 'Machan' also had a successful public screening at Chennai.

Scripted by Ruwanthi de Chikera, 'Machan' is directed by Academy nominated Ubarto Passilini and almost entire film was shot and produced in Sri Lanka with the entire major cast from Sri Lankan film and teledrama industries.

And the film is woven around the appealing theme of illegal immigrants to Europe in search of greener pastures. Presented in a lighter and satirical vein, the story is based on a true story of fake 'Sri Lankan National Handball Team' which went to Germany for a youth exchange programme in Berevia and disappeared into Europe.

The group comprised a majority of poor unemployed youths together with middle class clerks, police officers and team of foreigners including Pakistanis, Nepalese and Bangladeshis who had come to Sri Lanka as a safe passage to Europe.

And the cast selected for 'Machan' too makes an interesting combination with the familiar names from Sri Lankan cinema like Malani Fonseka, Iranganie Serasinghe, Mahendra Perera and young talents in the Sri Lankan teledramas and the theatre, Dharmapriya Dias, Dharshan Dharmaraj, Namal Jayasinghe, Sujeewa Priyalal, Dayadewa Edirisinghe, Adam Anamalee and Gihan de Chikera.

'Machan' for those missed. The filmgoers who missed 'Machan' will have another opportunity to see it at two film theatres under CEL circuit in Colombo.

The film will have a special screening at 9 pm on Friday and Saturday at Regal-cinema Colombo and daily at 4.30 pm at Lido Borella. Speaking about the decision to continue the screening, Managing Director of Cinema Entertainment Limited, G. R. Pathmaraj said that the move was to give an opportunity to watch a good cinematic experience to the film audience and also to encourage the producers.

"While giving the opportunity to see films, we have to safeguard the producers and their interest. And specially at a time where the film has not become a top priority where people would postpone for other engagement," Mr. Pathmaraj said.

"However with the international acclaim it won, there are a large number of film lovers who do not want to miss a film like 'Machan' and we have seen this with the number of patrons who attended to two of our theatres last week," he added.

Describing a good film being continuous to have in a public theatre, Mr. Pathmaraj said "With the limited number of remaining cinema halls nearly 150, there is no flow down and by this way we would be able to continue to have the screening while giving an opportunity to the producers to make whatever extra profit they could make".

Filmmaker and 'Machan' co-producer, Prasanna Vithanage speaking about the decision to continue screening said that it was an encouragement for all the film producers and filmmakers. ‘I am really thankful to Mr. Pathmaraj as well as the CEL for this important move,’ Prasanna said.

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