compiled by Ruwini Jayawardana
An effort to recreate romantic era of Sri Lankan
Roshan Pilapitiya is no stranger to Sri Lankan moviegoers. With a
career spanning eight years and embodying the capacity to portray
diverse roles the young actor had won much fame. Daily News Projector
met Roshan to discuss about his recent movies and what is new and
happening in his life.
* What are you working on these days?
I am acting in a teledrama done by Marco. It has not been given a
We have concluded shooting Dharmasena Pathiraja’s Kampitha Vila.
* There is a trend of remaking old movie hits. Comment?
Too much of anything is good for nothing. That is the problem Sri
Lanka is facing today. If this is done continuously people will start
* In Neil Rupasinghe’s remake of Hatara Denama Soorayo, you portray
the role acted by Vijaya Kumaratunge in the first version. Did you find
it a challenge to match up to his acting skills?
Vijaya Kumaratunge is one of our most skilled artistes of the past.
If we try to imitate him it would be as good as insulting him. When we
signed the agreement of the film there was an understanding that we were
not required to fill in the shoes of the past artistes. We did it as a
new creation giving it our own individual touch. I believe that was what
made it a success.
* Directors nowadays are also keen to engage foreign actors in their
creations. How do you see this?
Any country has a policy and an Actors’ Guild. They have to get
permission to take part in a creation. In most cases these artistes
visit the island for a holiday and get the opportunity to take part in a
film or teledrama. They profit from these creations and return home.
With Chathurika in Hatara Denama Soorayo Pictures by Saman Sri
We have good technicians in our country. Some of our cameramen have
won international recognition but we have begun to borrow cameramen from
The biggest crisis is that most of our construction companies are
importing labourers from Korea, India and Pakistan.
The authorities need to look into this matter especially because
there are many unemployed youths in the society.
* If you are given an opportunity to act opposite any actor of your
choice who would you choose?
My favourite actor is Johnny Depp and my favourite actress is
Charlize Theron but it depends on the script and the characters. Each
and every character does not suit an actor.
* Lately we see you paired more and more often on screen with your
off screen girlfriend, Chathurika Peries.
Our first film together is Hathara Denama Soorayo. We have acted
opposite each other in only three teledramas so far (smiles). I think it
is because those creations were successful and popular that people have
developed this idea.
* Tell us about your debut as a producer.
We have completed work on Ahasata Tharu Aaderen, my maiden teledrama
It is in line to be telecast on Rupavahini. It is a family oriented
teledrama which explores the relationship between children and parents
in modern society.
* Any ideas on taking up the role of a director?
No! (laughs) You need to dedicate a lot of time for acting. As time
passes there is much to learn. You have to keep updating yourself. It is
a career which you enjoy a lot. A director too needs to spare a lot of
time in observing the field. It is a tough job.
* What can you tell us about your newest film which is screening at
theatres these days, Aadara Meena?
Keerthi Bandara’s Aadara Meena is based on a Tamil girl’s journey
from Jaffna to the South. It reflects how some people in the Sinhala
community welcome her to their life.
It is not purely a love story. It is a film with a difference.
* What is your upcoming film?
Senahasaka Sihinaya. It is a story revolving around the theme of
rebirth. It will be released shortly.
* Which do you prefer - cinema or teledramas?
Many actors prefer the cinema but some admirable teledramas have also
Mega series have become popular today but this concept is not
suitable for our country as we have a limited number of channels.
A lot of creations are in queue and most people who have made
teledramas are out of work.
I hope they would limit this concept.
* Is there any particular role which you would love to portray?
There isn’t a specific role but most creations are very similar
There is a lack of difference in the scripts. If new script writers
with novel concepts join the scene maybe we would see a difference in
* When do you hope to tie the knot?
Chathurika and I are planning to get married next year.
Notes on international films
In the recently concluded Bonjour 2008 Cinema Festival ( La Journee
de la Francophonie) organised by the Belgium Consulate, High Commission
of Canada, Embassy of France, Embassy of Romania and Embassy of
Switzerland, a few outstanding films from France, Romania, Canada,
Switzerland and Belgium were shown.
The aim of this annual event “is to offer the Sri Lankan public a
collection of films that represent the richness and the diversity of the
cinema industries of the French speaking countries represented in Sri
Lanka. This festival is also aiming to become a platform for exchange of
knowledge and a place for dialogue on cinematographic topics between
professionals and moviegoers in Sri Lanka.”.
The lively and affable Isabelle and Nayana Ganeshan and other
friendly ladies of the French Embassy invited me for a four-day workshop
on film criticism.
The other distinguished personalities included the knowledgeable
filmmaker and writer Tissa Abeysekera, the versatile actor Sanath
Gunathilaka, film author Piyasiri Naghawatta, a few journalists, a team
of students from the College of Journalism, young U.S. trained
cinematographer, Ilango Ramanathan, an academic from the University and
Jude Ratnam who is interested in making documentary films and others.
One of the participants was writer, poet and artiste Buddhadasa
The French cinema critic Jean Philipe Tesse spoke of the fundamentals
of film criticism, the style and mode of film theories from the 1950s
and the gradual changes in film making in France with reference to three
films shown at the festival, namely ‘The Ceremony’, ‘The Barbarian
Invasions’ and ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’. He analysed these films,
accepting and debating the analysis by the students. Understandably here
were varied interpretations of the films discussed.
Unfortunately the students did not show much enthusiasm in the
discussion whereas the adults or matured cineastes participated with
probing questions. Tesse criticised the Canadian film
Les Invasions Barbares bitterly. Many including myself agreed with
him but one student, Muthulingam, felt that the story of the film was
A scene from ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’
The Sinhala film Nidhanaya directed by Maestro Lester James Peiris,
adapted from a short story by the Sinhala writer, G.B. Senanayaka, was
also screened. I liked the Romanian film and the French film, ‘The
Ceremony’, more than the other films. Last week I gave my appreciation
of this film on this column.
Since I had already given my impressions of the Romanian film, ‘4
Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’ earlier after visiting the IFFI at Goa in
last year, I shall now give some information about its director.
He was present at the IFFI in India. The name of the Romanian
director is Cristian Mungiu (40). He studied English Literature and
spoke in elegant English at the press conference. At the key female
star, Anamaria Marinca, was also present.
Mungiu learnt film directing at the Bucharest film University. He was
a teacher and media personality until 1994.
He made several short films beginning from 1998. His first feature
film was Occident in 2002. His film is about a woman sacrificing her
time for a roommate’s abortion.
This is an amazing study of character and making of a film with
We also learnt that the director’s brother is apolitical analyst in
Movies to mark International Women’s Day
The Women and Media Collective have organised a Film Festival to
celebrate International Women’s Day. The following movies will be
screened and discussed at the Russian Cultural Centre at 3 p.m. and 6
The take (English)
Directed and produced by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein
In Buenos Aires, 30 unemployed auto-parts workers walk into their
idle factory, roll out sleeping mats and refuse to leave. All they want
is to re-start the silent machines. This story of the workers’ struggle
is set against the dramatic backdrop of a crucial presidential election
in Argentina. What shines through in the film is the simple drama of
workers’ lives and their struggle: the demand for dignity and the
searing injustice of dignity denied.
A film by Jag Mundhra (English)
Provoked is the true story of a battered wife who fought back, first
against her husband, then against the system. Full of optimism and
affection, newlywed Kiranjit (Aishwarya Rai) arrives at the doorstep of
her new home with husband Deepak (Naveen Andrews). But the drunken
Deepak beats her repeatedly for 10 years, forcing her into a desperate
act that kills Deepak. Convicted of murder she is sentenced to life in
prison. Radha (Nandita Das) an activist with the Southall Black Sisters,
takes up Kiranjit’s case and wins the case in a High Court changing the
fate of battered women forever.
Directed by Ligy J. Pullappally
Sancharam, is the story of two young women, Kiran and Delilah, living
in rural Kerala, whose friendship continues into adulthood, despite the
fact that they are polar opposites. The story changes one night, when
Kiran comes to terms with her changing feelings for Delilah.
Uncomfortable with her physical desire for Delilah, Kiran agrees to help
Rajan, a neighbouring boy, in his scheme to win Delilah for himself.
Delilah is unconvinced by Rajan’s efforts, and through a strange
circumstance, discovers Kiran’s feelings for her.