Sarasaviya: celestial honours for screen stars
GATHERING all stars of the local silver screen under one roof, the
30th Sarasaviya festival considered as the "local Oscars" was held on
October 27, marking yet another milestone in the local cinema.
Premier Mahinda Rajapakse who was the chief guest with stars.
This momentous festival was sponsored by the Hatton National Bank (HNB)
and the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC).
This year's Sarasaviya film festival has been specially titled as
"Divine Honours for the Propagation of Cinema" by the organisers.
A unique feature of this year's festival was that the cash prizes
presented to the award winners have been doubled.
Best actor Jackson Anthony and Best Actress Geetha Kumarasinghe
with their awards.
Twenty two films screened last year were selected for this year's
competition in the festival under several main categories such as Best
Film, Best Director, Best Actor/ Actress, Best Supporting Actor/
Actress, Best producer etc.
Altogether 33 awards were presented this year for the artistes who
excelled on last year's silver screen. Among new addition to the
festival was an award presented to a pioneer in the local Tamil films.
The first Sarasaviya film festival was held in 1964 at Asoka film
hall in Colombo and the film " Gamperaliya" was selected as the Best
Film for that year.
Buddhi Keerthisena receives award for the Best Producer for Mille
Speaking on the Sarasaviya Awards, ANCL Chairman Janadasa Pieris
said: "Lake-House as one of the country's leading print media
institutions has undertook several key events in the country such as
Vesak festival and the Poson festival in Mihintale for many years.
The Sarasaviya Film Festival is one of the foremost happenings in our
annual event diary. This event is not only limited to Lake House. We
consider it a national art event".
Wishwanath Buddhika Keerthisena receiving the Best Director award
for Mille Soya.
Sarasaviya is one of the oldest film publications in the region and
has a wide readership in Sri Lanka. The Sarasaviya Film Festival has
become an eagerly awaited event in the film calendar.
The Sarasaviya Film Awards ceremony is not a ground breaking film
awards ceremony in this country. There had been many more film awards
ceremonies before and after it.
Best Supporting Actor Mahendra Perera and actress Grace Ariyawimal.
But the Sarasaviya awards ceremony has been able to gather much more
profundity and attraction than any one of them. it has become the
nation's greatest cultural event in the true sense of the word.
The honour and prestige of film awards gain added gloss due to the
film stars joining them rather than ideologies. The Academy awards and
India's Filmfare and Screen awards are such examples.
At the beginning the Sarasaviya Film Awards Ceremony was based on the
structure of the Filmfare Awards Ceremony but it emphasised on film star
quality from its inception.
That is why it was able to safeguard its identity despite various
The Sarasaviya film awards ceremony began in 1964 at a time when the
local cinema was trying to shed its South Indian orientation and
establish an indigenous identity. Although the Sarasaviya Film Awards
Ceremony is 40 years old it has not lost its usual glamour or quality
one bit upto date.
Many years have lapsed since the local cinema has shed its past
profundity and star centred nature.
Just because a film receives rare international recognition or breaks
box office rewards it is sheer ignorance to think that the Sinhala
cinema has gone back to its golden era.
In this era of globalisation when we have become partners of a global
village and world renowned films are sold on the wayside in DVD form
such a golden age would remain a sheer thing of the past.
However, even at this juncture there is a high level of interest
about the Sarasaviya Film Awards Ceremony.