Monday, 17 May 2010


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Story of a thousand images

Prasanna and Purnima. Picture by Ruwan de Silva

The tale relates fragments of life of almost anyone who had walked across the streets in the city of neon lights. It is the story of a thousand empty beer cans and burnt cigarette butts. It is a tale that will never be expressed in words or images if two individuals had not taken on the task of bringing its harsh reality to the reel.

Meet Udaya Dharmawardhana and Chinthana Dharmadasa - two people striving to make a difference in the cinema scene. Their debut feature film is Adarae Anshu Mathrayake (How I Wonder What You Are). It is based on a tale in which two youths are engaged on a soul searching mission. D and Kathy make desperate attempts to unearth emotions which will bind them together but they soon realize that they have forgotten the language of connectivity.

D's frustration with life comes to a close when he encounters Kathy. Unfortunately Kathy has a few problems of her own which she does not like to relate to D. She asks to stay with him purely to wait for a call from her boyfriend with whom she had broken up with. The call never comes and she gets close to D during her heartbreak. As soon as she realizes that she is taking advantage of his kindness she is burdened with guilt and tries to back off. However D's world now revolves around her and every passing day he is left yearning for her return.

The two lead roles are portrayed by Prasanna Mahaganage and Purnima Mohandiram. They are supported by Namal Jayasinghe, Mahendra Perera, Dayadeva Edirisinghe and Sirimal Wijesinghe.

Dharmawardhana began his stint in the spotlight with photography. He was trained by Lal Hegoda before studying video concepts and technology at the National Youth Centre. He had made a name as a music video director and had made some of the most significant music videos in the country. After studying film directing from Prasanna Vithanage he turned to television commercial directing and became a television producer for Sirasa TV. Style and Thunpath Rena are two of his most renowned programs.

Scenes from the movie

Apart from co-directing Adarae Anshu Mathrayakehe had also worked in the project as its director of photography with Chinthaka Somakeerthi. Dharmawardhana is shooting his second movie titled Les Papillions Noirs which is a France - Sri Lanka co-production.

Dharmadasa is a product of the Peradeniya University. He ventured into films as a film critic before turning director with the short film Afterwards, he fell asleep. This was selected for the best category in Shorts 2005 Film Festival put together by the National Film Corporation and he was awarded with a scholarship at the Lodz Film School, Poland. His second short film Insignificant, based on the Tsunami, won the special jury award at the Environmental Film Festival held by the Asia Pacific television.

Dharmadasa also penned scripts for prominent film directors. He scripted the screenplay for Boodee Keerthisena's Nimnayaka Hudakalawa and had even worked with Dharmawardhana for Sanka Dineth's music video.

Chinthana Dharmadasa and Udaya Dharmawardhana have written the screen play while Duminda de Silva is the editor for Adarae Anshu Mathrayake. Priyantha Sirikumara is the make up artist, Manoj Nalaka the art director, Dasun Pathirana the production manager and Thisara Mangala Bandara the assistant director. The music is by Jayanth Dharmawardhana. The movie features the song 'Descending from Paradise' by Indrachapa Liyanage.

The movie is co-produced by Channa Deshapriya, Rasitha Jayasena and Dammika Samarathunga. It will take to the wide screen in the near future.



Ekamath Eka Rateka

Sri Lankan Film Festival in Beijing

Six outstanding Sri Lankan movies produced in the past few years will be screening at a Sri Lankan Film Festival that will be held in Beijing, China, from May 19 to 25. Vasantha Obeysekara's Aganthukaya, Bennett Ratnayake's Sulanga, Sumithra Peries' Yahaluwo, Tanuj Anawaratne's Nisala Gira, Jackson Anthony's Aba and Sanath Gunatilleke's Ekamath Eka Rateka are the films which will be screened at the event. These movies have been selected out of ten movies which have been screened in the previous years.

Aganthukaya bagged some of the main awards at the Sarasaviya Film Awards including the awards of best film, best director, best actor, best supporting actor, best script and best lyrics. Aba was one of the highest grossing films in Sri Lankan history.

Yahaluwo, Sulanga, Nisala Gira and Ekamath Eka Rateka have all been screened in several countries abroad and have won over the audience.

Another interesting fact linked with the festival is that Sanath portrays the main role in three of these creations.

Apart from Sanath, Ravindra Randeniya who plays a key role in Aba and Damitha Abeyratne who is had given an outstanding performance in Nisala Gira will attend the film festival along with NFC Deputy General Manager Nadeeka Gunasekara.

Directors Peries, Obeysekara and Ratnayake will also fly to China on May 18. RJ









Bold and beautiful

Barbara and Hrithik

In the harsh terrain of the Mexican desert, a mortally wounded man is left for dead in the heat of the desert sun. This is J-once a street smart, carefree, young guy and now a wanted man.

The only thing that keeps him alive is the quest to find the love of his life, Natasha. A woman, engaged to another man, but surely destined for J. A woman, who comes into his life like a bolt of lightning, and changes it forever.

Kites will begin unspooling at Regal, Colombo, Arena, Katugastota, Willmax, Anuradhapura, Milano, Kegalla and Cinemax, Ja Ela from May 21. It will be subtitled in English and is a CEL release.




Barbara Mori

After Hrithik, Barbara wants to romance SRK

Mexico's export to India, Barbara Mori continues to make waves. She is gaining a firm foothold in Bollywood as the leading lady of Kites and as the Roshan's new discovery.

Recently, she was introduced to Shah Rukh Khan through her friends Hrithik and Susanne Roshan. The lady is in town to promote Kites and is at present put up at the Oakwood apartment in Juhu.

SRK threw a surprise bash for her at his palatial abode Mannat. Barbara also met up with inner circle comprising of Arjun Rampal, Mehr Jessia, Chunky and Bhavna Pandey, Sanjay and Maheep Kapoor and Neelam Kothari!

The lady was floored by King Khan and his wife Gauri's hospitality. A source told us that she is now keen to work with Shah Rukh.

She reportedly stated that though she hasn't seen any of his films, she would love to star opposite him.




Projecting the turbulence of life

Pahan Pena by Dharmasiri Bandaranaike

A series of documentaries in the care of the Government Film Unit (GFU) since independence was screened at the Film Corporation on May 12.

The projects screened showed the progress of society from the Stone Age Veddhas to the Agricultural and Fishing communities. The Stone Age primitives foraged and hunted. They had their own society and their worship of nature and spirits. However it seemed to me that they were also in conflict with nature, felling down trees and the slaughter of animals for food.

It seemed that this documentary was showing the conflict of life in all its varied forms. The vast greenery of our planet earth hides the turbulence beneath it - a struggle for survival. This was the substance of the work which had captured the harsh reality of life in images.

The indigenous documentary film industry began at our Independence in 1948 when equipment from the disbanded British military film units was given to the Government of Ceylon. Consequently the GFU was born and today they carry on their mission in bringing worthwhile creations to the fore and before the global audience.

Aronofsky and Pitt to team for The Tiger


Once upon a time, Brad Pitt and director Darren Aronofsky were aiming to team up on an sci-fi adventure that would span all of space and time to tell an epic love story. That project became known as The Fountain and went on to star Hugh Jackman as the interstellar traveler, ending the proposed collaboration between Pitt and the acclaimed filmmaker.

That team-up may action happen now. The duo is eyeing an adaptation of John Vaillant's upcoming non-fiction book The Tiger.

The action adventure story takes place on the Siberian plain, where human development is encroaching on the tigers' habitat - and one tiger turns on the intruders.

The Tiger, which will be produced by Pitt's Plan B and Aronofsky's Protozoa Pictures, is being developed as a potential starring vehicle for the star at Focus Features. Writer Guillermo Arriaga will pen the screenplay. He previously worked with Pitt on 2006's Babel. Variety



New film about Monroe's death

Production Company FilmEngine is re-opening the case of Marilyn Monroe's death. Marilyn will be penned by John Ryan Jr., a filmmaker-producer who is Anthony Rhulen's partner at FilmEngine.

The company has optioned the life rights of Lionel Grandison, a deputy Los Angeles coroner who claims he was forced to falsify Monroe's death certificate to say it was a suicide rather than murder. Grandison also contends that he read Monroe's diary, which was given to him in order to help find her next of kin. He was in possession of the diary for several days. Grandison is still alive, but the diary could not be found.Variety




New wonders of Alice's world

Carroll’s wonderful tale brought to life by Burton on reel

Instead of Wonderland, it's Underland. Instead of Alice as a bored but clever child, we get Alice as a 19-year-old rebel and warrior, dispatching the monstrous Jabberwocky with a magic sword. Disney's second rendering of Lewis Carroll's fantasy, in other words, is a world apart from both its 1951 cartoon version and the original Victorian-era text.

Directed by Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland, a 3-D blend of live action and animation, is meant as a contemporary, subversive take on a cherished story. With the 20-year-old Australian actress Mia Wasikowska, who had a breakout role in the first season of HBO's In Treatment, as Alice, it begins with an unwanted marriage proposal before veering off into Underland, where Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen await.

Since Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, were first published nearly 150 years ago, Alice's tale has been retold in many versions and many media, including as a musical, anime, video game and more than a score of film and television adaptations.

Sri Lankan movie buffs can catch the movie when it begins unspooling at Liberty cinema from May 21. PR

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