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Director Roy de Silva

Producer Padmasiri Kodikara

Twenty-one years have passed since Sri Lanka lost the irreplaceable figure of H.R. Jothipala on a day like today in 1987. He was a prolific playback singer in Sinhala cinema who had rendered his voice to many memorable productions.

Now memories of the legendary singer’s life will be recreated on the wide screen as hit filmmaker Roy de Silva brings Sada Adara Jothi (Ever Loving Jothi) before the audience.

Roy is one of the most sought after directors of the era. He had made many box-office hits in his career spanning more than four decades.

Having clinched a number of top awards for his creations he had been among the few to receive the prestigious lifetime achievement awards given once in a lifetime to veterans in the field: the Sarasaviya, Presidential and the more recent U.W. Sumathipala lifetime achievement awards.

Considering these achievements it is no surprise that the veteran actor cum filmmaker had been chosen to direct the much-hyped film. Sada Adara Jothi is produced by Padmasiri Kodikara and Vishvanath Rajeendra, son of Kodikara, will play the lead role as Jothi.

Interestingly both de Silva and Kodikara had been close friends of the legendary singer. According to Kodikara the intention of making a movie based on Johi’s life story had been on his mind for quite a while.

Vishvanath and Anarkalli as Jothi and Blossom

 Sumana and Anarkalli

Rajitha, Bandula, Senaka, Pabodha and Vishvanath

“ The suggestion came while Jothi was alive and he indicated that when the idea took form Roy was the best person to direct the movie,” Kodikara cited. The choice of having Roy direct Sada Adara Jothi was revealed at the muhurath ceremony last year. It is probably the first time that a director had been chosen for a film at a muhurath ceremony.

Screen queen Malani Fonseka, Ravindra Randeniya, Anarkalli Aakarsha, Robin Fernando, Sumana Amarasinghe, Rajitha Hiran Chamikara (Ping Pong), Neil Alles and Bandula Wijeweera are part of the main cast.

Veteran G. Nandasena handles the camera, Somapala Rathnayake the music and Tharanga Rukmalawala the make up. Dr. Ajantha Ranasinghe has penned the script. Seven original songs sung by the late vocalist will be included in the film.

“I have known Jothi since 1966 when we met on the sets of Sudu Duwa. I was chosen for the main role but Jothi had been expecting to play the lead in the movie opposite Sandya Kumari.

After I signed the contract he informed me about this and offered many words of encouragement. I was stunned and we developed a strong friendship,” de Silva said adding that he had acted opposite Jothi in most of his movies, as friends as well as foes.

“I was at the pinnacle of success during the 1970s and people began to question whether I attained fame with Jothi’s song Chandana El-len Nala or vice versa. He possessed a rare talent and is a figure who is born once in a lifetime,” he expressed adding that he will grade Jothi as the Sri Lankan Elvis Presley.

“Though it is years since Presley had passed away no one had been able to challenge his fame or talent. There is a vast demand for his songs and albums.”

According to de Silva it is easy to become a vocalist today. All that is needed is to patch samples of music composed by previous producers to make a number. In most instances background music is played and the artistes mime on stage.

This was not the case in the 1970s and 80s since veterans like Mohideen Beg, Harun Lanthra and Jothipala had to sing along with a fully-fledged orchestra, an immensely arduous task.

“I presume that Jothi had been a gifted singer in a previous lifetime because he could not have achieved such admiration and devotion without any musical education. He had the expertise of listening to a tune and picking up the exact beat. Though his path to fame is no bead of roses, good fortune was on his side at the end of the day.”

Sada Adara Jothi is slotted for release in October while ‘Sir Last Chance’, de Silva’s latest movie in line for release, will be screened at EAP circuit theatres after Rosa Kele and Aba.

Picture by Saman Sri Wedage

Concert in memory of Jothi

Siriyame Sara, a musical concert organised in memory of H.R. Jothipala by veteran artiste and media advisor for NFC, T. M. Sangadasa and the Kala Lanka society will be held at the Elphinstone theatre, Maradana, today at 6 p.m. A host of celebrities will take part in the event and Vijesundara Weragoda and the Sri Lanka Army band will provide the music. Chairman of SLBC,

Hadson Samarasinghe will also make a speech.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
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