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Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Saranga Disasekara:

Kicks off on films!

I admit I was a bit tense watching and seeing myself on a bigger screen but after the first two or three shots I was ok. Once I got comments from the media at the end of the show, the unease passed.
I want many people to see the film and pass their comments to me. I hope that both the positive and negative points will help me develop my career.

Living in the shadows of a supremely skilled musician for a father and a talented compere for a mother had never been easy but young actor Saranga Disasekara is content to follow the path of fame in a different stream.With fresh talent and dashing good looks the young artiste did not waste time in capturing hearts and winning applause.

Though it is just two years since he emerged in to the industry with Prema Kumara Jayawardena’s Pipi Peum, fortune favoured him in taking him further than most actors of his generation. With his debut movie, Nil Diya Yahana, ready to roll at CEL circuit theatres, Saranga has much to smile about. The Daily News met the charming young actor fro an exclusive tête-à-tête.

You have portrayed roles on screen and on stage. How did it feel to shift to the big screen?

I started shooting for Nildiya Yahana last year. I was not much experienced as an actor then so it was a challenge and also a responsible task because if the films are not up to standard, audience are not lured to cinemas. I believe I succeeded in giving my best to the movie because many of those who had seen Nildiya Yahana, prior to its release, said that I did not portray the role like a debutant. Their comments encouraged me. It was a great opportunity for me as a new comer to debut in a movie of such calibre. If I have done well in that film, I believe that I have had a good start.

What was it that excited you about Nildiya Yahana?

I was called for several other films but I waited because I wanted a good start. I got a lot of response for my first lead role in a tele drama Pipi Peum. I wanted to have a similar entrance to films.

I have seen debutants engaging in whatever comes their way and struggling to overcome failures. It is pathetic and I did not wish to be in a similar position. Dayaratne Ratagedara is a well known and well experienced teledrama director and it was a awesome opportunity for me to act in his maiden cinema production. I am happy to start off with a film like Nildiya Yahana because it is a commercial film with an artistic side. I think it has a balance.

How did you react when you saw yourself in the movie?

I admit I was a bit tense watching and seeing myself on a bigger screen but after the first two or three shots I was ok. Once I got comments from the media at the end of the show, the unease passed. I want many people to see the film and pass their comments to me. I hope that both the positive and negative points will help me develop my career.

Was it due to your parents’ pressure that you chose this field or was it your own choice?

They did not pressurise me for anything including my studies. I always had freedom. I studied IT in UK and after returning back to the country I was chosen for the teledrama Sasara Chakra directed by my uncle Douglas Ranasinghe. Pipi Peum was next though the first to be telecast.

I started off in the popularity scene from SLBC where I compered in Lama Pitiya and other kids programmes. Later I was introduced to Rupavahini. My parents did have an influence on me but they never forced me to choose this field.

How easy did you think it was to become an actor than to be an actor?

It takes a lot of work to be an actor. Many have worked hard merely to get a start. That has been the case in both the local and global cinema scene. Everyone cannot be an actor. I have heard of a saying that actors are born. You have to study acting but there is a lot that you are bringing within yourself. I did not have to go through obstacles to enter the scene but now that I am an actor, I focus on choosing good roles to show the public what I can do.

What are your upcoming projects?

I am working on the sets of Joseph Jerome’s teledrama, Ahankara Nagarae in Kuliyapitiya while portraying roles in Shantha Soysa’s Paba and Tikiri Ratnayake’s Du Kumariyo. I take part in Sunil Chandrasiri’s Sihina Walata Pata Denna, a stage drama based on Rakesh Mehra’s Rang De Basanthi.

Are you still waiting for your soul mate?

(Smiling)No, I think I’ve found her. Let’s wait and see!

So what do you do when you are not shooting?

I watch every movie released in Sri Lanka because I believe it is important to be updated about the field. I play the guitar as well but free time is scarce. I am always engaged with work.

Looking back on year 2008, what are your thoughts?

I got to play different types of characters in teledramas this year but unfortunately most of them have not been telecast yet. I also entered the cinema scene. 2008 is an halcyon year for me and I hope that lucky streak will continue.

Nirosha and Sanath in a scene
from Ekamath Eka Rateka

Ekamath Eka Rateka website launch

Renowned actor Sanath Gunatileke will launch a website on his maiden movie, Ekamath Eka Rateka (Once Upon a Time) on December 4 at 6.15 p.m.

The movie, starring Nirosha Perera, Sanath Gunatileke, Roshan Ravindra, Chandani Seneviratne, Semini Iddamalgoda, Nilmini Buwenaka and many others, is based on French writer Emile Zola’s short story Pour une nuit d’amour. French Ambassador, Michel Lummaux will be the chief guest.





‘Eagle Eye’ at Majestic

Eagle Eye’ is a race-against-time thriller starring Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Anthony Mackie and Billy Bob Thornton.

Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) and Rachel Holloman (Monaghan) are two strangers thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman they have never met. Threatening their lives and family, she pushes Jerry and Rachel into a series of increasingly dangerous situations - using the technology of everyday life to track and control their every move. As the situation escalates, these two ordinary people become the country’s most wanted fugitives, who must work together to discover what is really happening - and more importantly, why.

The movie directed by D.J. Caruso stars Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie and Billy Bob Thornton. ‘Eagle Eye’ will begin screening at Majestic Cinema from December 5.



IFFI 2008

The present century openly depicts aspects of sex more than any previous decades in Cinema that is not phonographic but erotic; and the presentation is treated aesthetically. Such films are not censored in international film festivals.

Israeli and
Films explore
openly liberated feminine sex

Brazilian and Spanish films
dramatise human

Not by choice but by coincidence I enjoyed seeing two such films that had human-interest story lines-thinly though - that focused on women in open societies. Israel and Mexico are not far behind in following a trend in filmmaking.

Veteran Actress Rekha lights the ceremonial
oil lamp to inaugurate IFFI 2008

As opposed to crude violent films of recent times, some films that use sex as part of the themes of visual story telling via the Cinema use extensively the current methods of communication- the Internet and digital film making.

I saw a film called ‘Love Life’ directed by a German woman filmmaker, Maria Schrader, which was a co-production with Israel. The happenings were in Jerusalem and involve a family of weird relationship. A kind of bizarre feeling I experienced. The relationship is suggestive of incest.

More than a thick meat of story telling most films of today is piecemeal presentation of flagrant human relationships reflecting the superficial life devoid of values and spirituality. This film was one such an exercise.

The erotic scenes were daring. The Mexican film ‘Cumbia Connection’ was lighter vein entertaining film I enjoyed for its Latino music and dances reminiscent of Ricky Martin’s and Mark Antony’s and Shakira’s rhythmic baila style songs. The music played with accordion and other instruments was simply alluring for me.

But the main story of one woman loving two men at the same time and the two men compromising with each other and enjoying her with her permission may seem outlandish to our culture (even though in the great Indian epic Mahabharata, five brothers shared among them one woman).

The dusky and erotically provocative actress and the two men (a painter cum building site workman and the other a videographer who sells taboo videos and make money and leading a luxurious life) are typically eastern in their features and handsome faces.

‘Blindness’ is an imaginative remarkable film that won several awards all over the world. It’s Brazil/Canada. Japan co-production directed by Fernando Meirelles.

Except for one woman, wife of an Eye surgeon, everybody connected in a group of people suddenly become blind. Adapted from a novel by the Nobel Prize winner, this film has many layers of exposition. It is a social comment.

The next film I saw until last Tuesday was ‘Who is Next?’, a Spanish film directed by Manuel Gutierrez Aragon. This is a political thriller- assassination and the rest of terrorist activities. I do not enjoy such films even though politics is not outside our human understanding. Those knowledgeable in the Basque -Spain encounters would have appreciated this film. Technically and other wise, the film did not convince me.

In such international film festivals one may not see all the 200 odd films screened. And one has to make a choice, most of the time at random.

The films in Goa are shown in six theatres to more than 700 delegates. There is a rush to get your tickets, but the seating capacity of all six theatres is a little more than 3000.

It’s the survival of the fittest even though you are a media person. I shall continue with my short reviews in the Artscope Gleanings column and the Monday Projector pages in the coming week.

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