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9th August 1998

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Kool Kompany in Concert

By Sanath Weerasuriya

US based all black show band 'Kool Kompany' will have their first concert in Colombo on August '21 at the Bishop's College auditorium.

" Earlier the concert was scheduled for August 14 and it has postponed to the 21st due to unavoidable cricumstances .' said the organizers

The Kool Kompany in Concert ' will come alive in association with the latest night spot in town ,'Cyclone ' . in aid of the Wanathamulla Elder's Home project organised by the Lion's Club of Nugegoda Central.'

Kool Kompany is a dynamic show band originating from the showbiz capital of the world , California USA.The members of the band are industry professionals , who generates an explosive power packed performance with their music singing and dancing and stage sequences each time they take to the stage The band comprises Atton Williams ,leader on lead guitar , Darrel Kelly on guitar ,David Teague on bass, Gabriel Pitts on drums and Romio Kerwin on keyboards

At the moment the band is in action at the Cyclone for six nights except Tuesdays .

Their type of style and wit has never been seen before in Sri Lanka and has taken the audiences by storm whenever they perform.Los Angeles based Kool Kompany is currently on tour of Asia They were in Taiwan , Hong Kong and Thailand before they come to Colombo." We mostly play Raggae , R&B ,and Oldies. But we always cater to the audiences and play according to their choice "leader Atton said.

The Kool Kompany Concert will be one of the most explosive concerts on stage in Colombo and it will be a treat for all entertainment hungry music fans .

Convent Fair 1998

"Convent Fair" organised by the St. Anthony's Convent Kandy is now on at convent grounds every day from 4 p.m. onwards.

Musical shows, several competitions to select the convent queen are also included in the programme. The highlight of the carnival will be a fashion show organised by wellknown producer Ajantha Ellepola. This show will be co-ordinated by Lasanda Odayar, design club, palayacarts, with their creative designs at this show.

In keeping with the Kandy Esala Pageant ,the fashion show will focus on ethnic wear which will be modelled by top male and female professionals in the fashion circle. Many stalls selling consumer items at discounted rates offer a chance to serve and stock on gifts for the season.

The carnival will have many exciting events and competitions as well. This carnival is organised to raise funds for the educational and building fund of the convent. Today is the last day of the fair.

Children's issues claim attention

By Sanath Weerasuriya

The TV programme produced, directed and presented by Charnika Munasinghe for the International Children's Day of Broadcasting '97 focusing on the main issues facing children, is the official entry submitted this month for this year's special award competition organized by the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in collaboration with United Nations Children's Funds (UNICEF).

The International Council/ UNICEF award honours programming that appeal to the hearts and minds of children giving them an opportunity to speak up and be heard. The award is presented to the broadcasters whose celebration of the day is judged most outstanding, at the Annual Emmy Awards Gala in New York.

Charnika with her presentation enabled Sri Lanka for the first time to join 170 other countries by telecasting this special programme to celebrate this day which is held annually on a date set apart by UNICEF.

This is just one of a series of TV productions that have been done by Charnika for a special and worthy cause or event. The last one was "Towards the total eradication of Polio" also done in collaboration with UNICEF.

Currently she functions as General Manager/ Operations and Marketing of Dynavision. However she will take wing to Singapore for a programme in advance training in TV productions soon. On her return she is set to take the reigns of Director Operations and Marketing of yet another media organization in three weeks time, and also in addition operate as an agent in Sri Lanka as a supplier for TV programming, representing an International Production Company.

Explaining further on the local programme telecast she said this programme was different in concept where a team of children took over the studio for the day and presented the entire programme. Of course we directed them but they had to do a tough job and we also incorporated their ideas and views in the programme, she added.

'It was basically a day for children by the children, about children via TV', she stressed. The children's production and presentation team in the programme were Shehara Liyanage, Lathika Athaude, Shaun Jesudasan, Dinushka Fernando and Mehani Fernando. They were handpicked after auditioning and recommended by a Speech and Drama specialist, Wendy Hall Singer assisted by Lasantha Rodrigo. We also arranged Mrs. Maureen Seneviratne, President of P.E.A.C.E. organisation, who is an authority in the field on Children's rights to give a detailed account of the current position of some of the major problems faced by Sri Lankan Children today. Her extensive knowledge in this area helped us immensely, she added.

The main focus of the programme were on Child labour, child abuse, street children, poverty and children affected by the on- going war in the North.

She covered some of the most historic world events including the re-unification of the two Germanies in 1990 and most recently the re-unification of Hongkong with China in 1997 for the print and electronic media as a special correspondent.

This particular programme was incidentally run on TV again to celebrate the first anniversary on 1st July 1998 on Dynavision.

Speaking of television and its bearing on children and the submitted TV programme for the competition she said " Television is an integral part of the lives of millions of children around the world. Every day more and more children have the opportunity to watch their favourite programmes. Television is a common bond between children, a shared experience in a world full of differences, dangers and challenges. Television can make the world seem smaller uniting rather than dividing, crossing national and cultural boundaries."

"As TV becomes more universal in today's technological world, children are encountering a range of new experiences that their parents could never have imagined. Their lives will be shaped to some extent by what they see on television", she stressed.

'Although TV is an important part of the lives of children they have little say in the selection content or production of what they see. They have little opportunity to broadcast their view to their peers, and even less to speak to adults. But we can change that now, through International Children's Day of Broadcasting.

TV stations can play their part in making this right a reality for children. We in our capacity must make them a reality," she added.

'Almost every country in the world has signed an International Convention that sets out children's rights to survival, development, protection and participation, and its called the convention on the rights of the child. The convention details a broad, range of rights, from basic ones - right to name and nationality- to more complex issues, such as access to appropriate information and freedom of expression and thought. The convention on the rights of the child, of which Sri Lanka is also a signatory, is not just a treaty for governments to implement', she explained.

'In fact several of its provisions have direct application to broadcasters. The convention states that children have the right to express their views, obtain information and make ideas or information known, regardless of frontiers.'

"Through broadcast media children can air their opinions and make sure they're heard by communities, by governments and by those who make the decisions that effect their future. Children have the right to have information and material from a diversity of sources."

The convention says that governments should encourage the media to disseminate information which is of social and cultural benefit to the child, and take steps to protect children from harmful material.

So this day December 14th which is set apart by UNICEF every year make sure that children have these rights by allowing them to participate fully in the programming and it is indeed our duty in our capacity to make arrangements for it to be a reality. It is also such a worthy cause.

Local Western music makers need push, says Dumi

By Daffy Duck

Music industry in Sri Lanka has moved forward, which indeed is good news. There 's also a drastic change of ways and methods introduced in presenting and producing musical programmes by the many private stations. Gone are the days of conventional standing as a statue of liberty while only the lips move, and in are the so called "video clippings" with girls dancing, beautiful scenes and landscapes, etc. Unfortunately this type of entertainment is only limited to the local Sinhala music industry. Who dares to make such a accusation? It's none other than Duminda Fernando popularly known as "Dumi".

An old boy of St. Peter's College, Colombo, Dumi has come a long, way both academically and musically. Now Dumi is a part time musician balancing his life between his full time job and music.

He started singing at the tender age of 7 years.When he was 17 years he began to sing as a professional. But I never made it full time, for the simple reason that from my young days I was studious. (Reliable sources say Dumi is never serious).

According to Dumi though many TV and radio stations are operating now in Sri Lanka, not many telecast local artistes in western programs. Virtually none other than ITN. If all can revolutionize the local Sinhala musical programs or view such western music programs specially from India , why are the local western artistes left out. Then it clearly shows that all programme producers are biased towards the Sinhala artistes.

It is true that the western artistes can only make a living through the contracts with the 5 Star hotels, weddings and private functions. This is mainly why many artistes have turned towards the Sinhala market sometime or the other in order to survive. For the English market hasn't matured enough for a musician to earn one's bread and butter.

Dumi's latest duets released recently are "Finally found someone" with Shanelle Fernando. She has an excellent voice that blends beautifully. "Sleeping Child" the video tape of this song featuring my god-daughter has unfortunately been damaged by the station. He hopes to re-produce it soon. "The song may be out of date, but the lyrics and the meaning of this song would never be so. If all Sri Lankans feel the words in their heart, then I am sure there wouldn't be a war", says Dumi. Next is "Love will keep us alive" That's not all. I plan to release a few more duets in September with Shanelle, so keep watching ITN.I must specially thank them for the help extended to the local western artiste.

No one should have monopoly either in music or any other activity. Let newcomers take a chance. The best will rise up leaving the mediocre behind.But most tend to forget this. Newcomers need to be helped along.

There is enough room for all in the industry. To build the industry all musicians must join hands and work in unity. Not compete with each other, says Dumi.

His father Benedict Fernando was a member of "Amigos Romantica" (Friends in Romance). My greatest and most critical fans are my mother and father It is their encouragement that has pushed me forward, the young music maker said.

Dumi is quite an eligible bachelor who is fond of good things in life. He also has a possessive streak in him.

Vasantha creates screen puzzle

By Kumaradasa Wagista.

The next film scheduled to be exhibited in the prestigious fifth circuit is Vasantha Obeysekera's'Dorakada Marawa'.

The story concept is based on a true incident that took place in the suburbs of Colombo.The film begins with the death of a newly wed couple,Priyantha (Sanath Gunatillake and Subhashini (Sangeetha Weeraratne)in a car crash.

Priyantha comes from a low income group middle class family while Subashini is a mercantile sector employee.She is a member of a traditional conservative family. After graduation, Priyantha gains employment in the harbour.He maintains his elderly parents and grown up married sisters.

The clash of different class interests represented by each protagonist becomes evident in their budding love.Adverse social reactions to their love affair were expressed in unfounded slanders,gossip and insinuations acting as a hindrance to theirsenseof understanding.

Moreover incompatibiliies,both emotional and cultural rocked their nest of love.However the two of them managed to steer away from all constraints that threatened them.

On the day of their homecoming when all friends and relatives had departed,their destiny overtook the young couple . At dawn on the following day the two were found dead on the spot in a motor car accident. Both friend and foe were intrigued by the manner of their death which led to many speculations.

What was it ? Was it the result of suicide, homicide or was it an accident?.

Director Obeysekera presents the story on the basis of two lovers moving independently of each other - one going from the present to the past revealing how the interested parties interpreted the cause that led to the accident and the other moving from the past to the present showing what really happened to the couple and what led to their untimely death.

The two lovers move towards each other but do not perfectly merge as there is a slight dislocation both in space and time in the last sequence.

'Dorakada Marawa' is selected to be the opening film at the New Delhi Film Festival organised by National Film Corporation and Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi.Vasantha Obeysekera and producer Sarath Abeysena will attend the festival.

Female domination in films begin to show

During the early eighties a handful of our actresses rose to new heights by directing or producing local films.The first film actress to direct a local film was Florida Jayalath who made 'Sweep Ticket'.Later Ruby de Mel and Rohini Jayakody entered the directing arena.This was followed by many film actresses who either produced or directed or even produced,directed and acted in their own films.

Two films where the characters are played by by two internationally recognised film actresses Malini Fonseka and Anoja Weerasinghe, released on the same day is another 'first ' in fifty years of local filmdom.The two films are 'Julietge Bhoomikawa' and 'Anthima Reya'. Anoja Weerasinghe and Capt Gamini Nanayakkara have produced the former while Lucky Dias is the producer of the latter..Both of them were released on July 31."Releasing a film is like fighting an election,or even more than that.After a film is certified by the Public Performances Board the producers are responsible till its release.Printing of release copies,conducting the publicity campaign,checking the theatres and many other responsibilities rest on our shoulders"Malini Fonseka said.Anoja Weerasinghe agreeing with what Malini Fonseka said"it was not intentional.I worked both day and night attending to the release.Releasing a film is more difficult than producing .Every local film should collect at box office levels.That's my prayer".

A regular film goer in Wattala said."I saw one of them.It was fine.I cannot afford to see the other film just now.However I must see it also"she told this writer.She is one of those who never misses a film of Anoja or Malini.

However the view of the majority of filmgoers who see meaningful films was that it would have been better if there was at least a gap of two weeks of the release of these two much talked about films.

Another best actress international award winner Nita Fernando is also the producer of 'Pauru Walalu'.She is also preparing to release her film by the end of the year. Presently I am organising the advertising campaign with a well known artist and advertiser"she said.

Sriyani in search of daughter

Meanwhile Film Producer actress Sriyani Amarasena left Sri Lanka for UK recently.The purpose of her visit is to shoot sequences in London and its outskirts for a teledrama which is produced by her and directed by Sudath Rohana.The 'Muhurath' ceremony of the teledrama is to be held at Kissik Buddhist Temple London. A group of expatriates in London are assisting her in this work

The story of the teledrama is based on a true story that took place in London,production sources said.It's about a Sri Lankan mother going in search of her daughter who is separated from her whilst she was a child.The story concept is by Sriyani Amarasena who will also play the mother's character opposite Daya Alwis.

Tissa Madawela is director of photography.About half of the scenes in the teledrama will be filmed in London locations.Sri Lanka scenes will be filmed later in Deniyaya. Teleplay is by Daya Alwis.

Meanwhile the Sinhala adaptation of Anton Chekov's 'Proposal' by Professor Tissa Kariyawasam titled 'Parastawa' is scheduled to go on boards in London and later in Italy and Germany.Sriyani,Daya and Harry Wimalasena play in this drama.

The Delhi Lens

by Bandula Jayasekera

Madhuri brushes aside objections

Beautiful Madhuri Dixit has proved that no one is going to make the rules for her. Despite much protests and resistance from Mumbai's ruling Shiv Sena led by controversial Bal Thacker, Dixit has confirmed that she will star in India's respected and controversial painter M.F. Hussain's film "Gajagamini'.

Two weeks from now, 74 year old Dev Anand will strike again with yet another film titled "Main Solah Baras Ki". It is a film about a 16-year-old's ambitions and aspirations. She is from a broken home, her father is living with a mistress and her brother is living with somebody else. The girl wants to be an actress and wants to meet Dev Anand and Anand plays himself. Dev Anand has discovered many beautiful faces in his 50 years of movie life. They are Zeent Aman, Tina Munim, Richa Sharma, Tabu and the latest being Sabrina.

India's ace Director Mani Ratnam who presented the cinemagoers with films such as 'Bombay' , 'Roja', 'Iruvar' is getting ready to release his first Hindi Film 'Dil Se' starring, Shahrukh Khan and Manisha Koirala. Dil Se is a story based in the North which discusses personal relationships against the political background of India today, and India is waiting, counting their fingers for Mani's Dil Se. The balding guy in Hindi Films Anupam Kher has decided to write a book at 43. The book titled 'Going Fast Nowhere" will be an autobiographical account of events that have influenced him and made him what he is today. He made his debut with Mahesh Bhatts 'Saaransh' where he played the role of an old man. Kher has not looked back since then. Today he is considered as a successful film star and an entertainment manager. His wife Kiran Kher is a host of a successful Talk Show on Indian Television. I am sure Kher has a story to tell.

The India International Centre in New Delhi had a special screening of the BBC production 'Monsoon Forests and the Land of the Tiger' presented by the great nature lover Valmik Thapar. It was a film done with a lot of patience and care in the great forests in India and our own Sinharaja.

BBC must be commended for their contribution and bringing to life our Monsoon Forests. However it becomes our duty to protect it. Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Sri Lanka High Commission in India presented the Chitrasena Dance Company on August 1. The Kinkini Kolama did us proud. Bravo Chitrasena!

France, Sri Lanka diplomatic ties

How many years of bilateral diplomatic relations are Sri Lanka and France celebrating this year? Your answers on postcards only to: Bonsoir Quiz, P. O. Box 1685, Colombo to reach us on or before Monday 17th August.

Who knows, you might be among the ten lucky winners who will all receive Bonsoir T shirts, key tags and car stickers. And if yours is the first all correct entry picked, you get a copy of the 'Adventures of Asterix' and also a Bonsoir umbrella.

And don't forget that with effect from last Monday August 3rd - "Bonsoir" comes to you at 8.00 pm and not at 9.30 pm.

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