TV Times

Making of a ‘Mouse’

By Susitha R. Fernando

Young and talented script writer, copywriter, popular television programmes producer and award winning actor Wasantha Moragoda’s maiden directorial venture on the silver screen ‘Mouse’, a film on children is to be released soon.

‘Mouse’ a long awaited dream of Moragoda revolves around a poor child living in a shanty but who is unaware about a huge class difference prevailing around him. This ‘ignorance’ itself helps ‘Sookiri’ to strive for his dream of learning, working and mastering the computer. An empty cardboard box becomes his ‘monitor’ and his keyboard is made up of tiny lids of aerated water bottles. He takes the coconut shell which covers the pot of water and turns it upside down to label it as ‘mouse’ and fixes his mothers saree cord as the cable.

The film stars Kaushalya Fernando, Roshan Ravindra, Jayani Senanayake, Avanthi Aponsu, Adisha Hettiarachchi, Tisal Tulnith, Chathura Fernando, Robin Fernando, Srimal Wedisinghe, and Moragoda himself.

In the technical crew Chandana Dilshan edited the film while Hemantha Gamage handled make up, art direction Dhanuska Perera, art direction Suren Rajapaksa and music by Sunil Dayananda Konara.
‘Authorities are misled by the advisors on art’: Moragoda Well-known as a producer of a number of interesting TV programmes and teledramas, Wasantha Moragoda is an artiste, who ventured into almost all the performing arts.

Hailing from Delwala, Meerigama and a student of Wickremasheela Vidyalaya, Giriulla, Moragoda is an experienced Kandyan dancer who has performed in almost all Peraheras around the country.
‘With the idea of dedicating to the arts full time, I came to Colombo in 1989 and did almost everything from making tea to acting the lead role on the stage’ said Moragoda sharing the interesting and exhilarating experiences.

Moragoda’s first stage was crowded streets where he joined a group of street players and went all round the country performing at bus halts, railway stations, towns, junctions and wherever there were people.

“I still believe that the most powerful stage is the street as it is live and the responses are instant,” said Moragoda. From street to stage, Moragoda played his first role in Udayasiri Wickremaratne’s play and up to date he has played in nearly in 10 plays for which he has won a number of awards including Best Actor in the ‘Youth Drama Festival’ and the ‘State Drama Festival’.

Taking up the job as a copywriter for advertisements, Moragoda was responsible for creating a number of interesting commercials. Having joined Swarnavahini as a Screen Presentation officer, in his journey to become the Creative and Promotion Manager in the channel, Moragoda created a number of novel television programmes such as ‘And Company’ and ‘Neighbour Talks’. ‘And Company’ a brainchild of Moragoda looked at politicians sarcastically while criticizing the existing political cultures.

Moragod ventured into miniplays with ‘Sanda Saakki’, a 150 episode television serial drama which was followed by ‘Makara Dadayama’, and ‘Kaluwara Eliya’. “Sanda Sakki is a special reality teledrama in Sri Lanka as it brought a novel concept to the teledrama industry. ‘While the teledrama was being telecast we had deployed three teams in three different parts of the country to watch with a family and get them to narrate the episode in the following week. This concept had never been experimented in Sri Lanka’ Moragoda explained.

However Moragoda is of the view that in today’s television culture, it is hard to be creative and artistic.
‘One can make a good living from the television but not create art’. ‘So I waited patiently to become independent and have my own production company with all the equipment. Several years ago I was not independent as I was not financially strong to stand on my own’. However, today Moragoda is independent as a producer, owning a fully equipped production house.

‘I’m today ready to support any youngster who would come with a novel idea and television productions’ Moragoda says. ‘Sometimes television channels have exploited the creations and creativity of individual artistes. There are many problems in the art and the cinema but the authorities are unaware of them’.
‘The main reason for this is, those go between authorities and artistes and so called advisors to the governments. They are not showing the correct picture or misleading the authorities’ Moragoda complained.

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