Jackson, Geetha shine at Presidential Film Awards
JACKSON Anthony and Geetha Kumarasinghe were the toast among the
local film world at Wednesday's star spangled night of the Presidential
Film Awards 2005 at the BMICH bagging awards for Best Actor and Actress
for Outstanding Roles in 'Sooriya Arana' and 'Randiya Dahara'.
Present and past stars were there in anticipation bearing testimony
to the State's gesture of appreciating their talents and performances on
the silver screen, after a gap of four years.
They were encouraged by the presence of the Head of State President
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga to give them that much needed fillip
to strive for further excellence.
Though politicians made their usual presence at the awards night the
photographs contained in the souvenir handed over to the participants by
the organisers placed the President in the role of an artiste rather
than a political figure or as the Head of the State.
The State body handling the cinema industry, the National Film
Corporation under the Cultural and National Heritage Ministry's guidance
organised this event, in the true sense of giving
State sponsorship for the uplift of the film industry.
The elegant dance sequences by the Channa, Upulee Dancing Institute
and the drum beat mixed with Eastern and Western music presented by
young and energetic musician Jananatha Warakagoda added a soft ambience
to this colourful night.
Though the awards were confined to films screened during 2004, Film
Corporation Chairman Sunil S. Sirisena cleared the doubts in the minds
of film artistes saying that the Government has made all arrangements to
confer awards for films screened in 2001 to 2003 within the next two
President Kumaratunga too sought forbearance from the artistes for
not having the awards ceremony for four years but added that it was not
her fault but of the Government in power at the time for not sponsoring
Twenty two films screened in 2004 competed for 18 Presidential Awards
under various categories.
Mille Soya directed by Vishvanath Buddhika Keerthisena bagged the
Best Film of the Year 2004 along with the award for the Best Director
competing with 22 films.
Renuka Balasooriya took away the award for the Box Office performing
film for 'Sooriya Arana'. 'Sooriya Arana' bagged the highest number of
awards at the ceremony.
A true reflection of State assistance to the film industry and the
appreciation of the service rendered by the film artistes by the State
was witnessed when President Kumaratunga honoured four leading film
artistes Tony Ranasinghe, D.B. Nihalsinghe, Iranganie Serasinghe and Dr.
Premasiri Khemadasa for their lifetime contribution towards the uplift
of the Sinhala cinema presenting them with the Golden Lion Award.
Shelton Premaratna (for his contribution to cinema music), G.D.L.
Perera (for his contribution towards cinematography) and to Udula Dabare
and Anula Karunatilleke for their contribution to the industry as
actresses, were also honoured at the ceremony.
Film star turned politician and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister
Jeevan Kumaratunga gave away the awards to these leading figures in the
The special feature of the awards night was the appreciation of local
artistes who won international awards for their films, with each awarded
a cash prices of Rs. 150,000.
Accordingly Vishva Keerthi award were conferred on Benette Ratnayaka
(for winning five international awards for his film Asvesuma), Asoka
Handagama (for gaining five international awards for his film Me Mage
Sandai and six international awards for Tani Tatuven Piyabanna),
Nityavani Kandasamy (Best Actress at the 17th International Film
Festival -Iran for her role in Punchi Surnaganavi), Anoma Janadari (Best
Actress Singapore International Film Festival - Tani Tatuven Piyabanna),
Inoka Satyangani Keerthinanda (for gaining four international awards for
her film Sulang Kirillee), Dhamitha Abeyratna (Best Actress Dhaka
International Film Festival - Sulang Kirillee), Prasanna Withanage (for
Ira Mediyama), Nimmi Harasgama (Best Actress at the 5th Las Palmas
International Film Festival - Spain for Ira Mediyama.
Ports and Aviation Minister Mangala Samaraweera joined in handing
over awards for artistes in recognition of the internationally acclaimed
Asoka Handagama in a touching gesture dispatched a note to the
organisers that the Rs. 150,000 cash award given to him should be
donated to the development of the Jaffna library which was burnt by
chauvinistic elements, while stating his inability to be present at the
awards night on a policy matter.
Young and upcoming film artiste Vimukthi Jayasundara was given higher
recognition at the awards night for bringing the highest international
award to the country (Camera d'or) at the Canne's International Film
He received a Rs. 1 million cash award from President Kumaratunga for
Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama gave away the merit awards to
Dasun Madusanka (for his role as Podi Sadu of Sooriya Arana), Sajith
Anuttara (for his role Tikira of Sooriya Arana), Srimal Satyajith (Randiya
Dahara), Seeta Kumari (Randiya Dahara), Gunasiri Uhanovita (make up
artiste of Aadaraneeya Vassanaya) and to Asoka Jayasekara (camera
director Aadaraneeya Vassanaya).
Chathurika Peris and Roshan Rajapakse who played the leading roles in
the film Aadaraneeya Vassanaya won the Best Up Coming Actress and actor
awards. Somaratna Dissanayake (Sooriya Arana) was adjudged the Best
Composer while Deepika Priyadarshanie Peiris (Aadaraneeya Vassanaya) and
Harsha Dissanayaka (Sooriya Arana) won the award for the Best Play Back
Singer (female and male).
Awards for Best Make Up Artiste - Ebert Wijesinghe (Sooriya Arana),
Best Art Director - Chandraguptha Thenuwara (Mille Soya), Best Sound
Engineer - Shyamana Premasundara (Sooriya Arana), Best Supporting
Actress (Grace Ariyawimal (Gini Kirillee), Best Supporting Actor -
Mahendra Perera (Randiya Dahara), Best Editor - Ravindra Guruge (Mille
Soya), Best Cinamatographer - Channa Deshapriya (Sooriya Arana), Best
Music Director - Navaratna Gamage (Aadaraneeya Vassanaya), Best
Screenplay - Somaratna Dissanayake (Sooriya Arana)received awards from
Cultural and National Heritage Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.
The Minister whose first official function after being appointed as
the Minister of Cultural and National Heritage promised to do his best
for the uplift of the industry.