Sangili director on why there is no space for arty
Cinema is all about looking at life’s incidents
in a creative and artistic angle. Commercial cinema is aimed at keeping
the family entertained while artistic cinema has a deeper mission. It is
not woven around fantasy and colourful sequences but bitter life
incidents and thought provoking themes
Director: Lalith Pannipitiya
Producers: G Dharmarathna and K G S Dias
Script: A H Karunarathna
Camera: Nilantha Chularatne
Assistant director: Nilantha Perera
Art directors: Shan Makandura and Hemachandra Perera
Music director: Saman Panapitiya
Make-up: Pujitha Sandaradura
* Dulani Anuradha
* Veena Jayakody
* Sanath Gunathilaka
* Saranga Dissasekara
* Rebecca Nirmali
* Neil Alles
* Wimal Kumara De Costa
Lalith Pannipitiya’s Sangili embodies these characteristics. It
rotates around a handful of diverse characters in a rural setting.
There are four key players in this tale: Sangili, Ran akka, Punchi
aiya and Sunimal. The characters are portrayed by Dulani Anuradha, Veena
Jayakody, Sanath Gunatilaka and Saranga Dissasekara.
Scenes from Sangili
“Sangili belongs to the artistic genre. It caters to the literary
taste of the audience rather than mere entertainment. It leaves us with
many aspects to ponder over rather than deliver everything on a
platter,” director Pannipitiya expressed his views about his production.
The movie is set to hit the CEL circuit in March, 2011. It was shot
in Dambulla last year.
The story was scripted by Pannipitiya’s schoolmate, A H Karunaratna.
Sangili is based on real life experiences and is themed ‘A day that a
woman goes against another woman’. This subject is mostly reflected by
the way Ran akka treats Sangili. She takes advantage of her niece’s
talent and cunningly engages her in their day to day affairs. She and
Punchi aiya are least interested in arranging a marriage for the girl
because they think they would lose the economic benefits which they gain
through Sangili’s work. The story was originally titled Loku Duwa (Elder
“I was searching for a suitable actress for Sangili’s character. I
was not looking for a well known face to present her. My wife suggested
Dulani after seeing her portray Gumgakabootha in Aba. I spoke to Dulani
and she was able to get into the skin of the character. She understood
Sangili’s mindset. Her character runs from an age when she is a young
lass to that of a mother,” Pannipitiya reflected on his leading lady.
Interestingly Sanath Gunatilaka will be playing an eye catching role
in the movie. Punchi aiya is a three-in-one character. His behaves in
three manners in different situations. He acts the role of an
uneducated, thunderstruck villager in front of the village headman while
he is the shrewd businessman in front of the other villagers. He
transfers to an entirely different role in the presence of his wife and
Significantly young Saranga Dissasekara too will be in the shoes of a
role which is poles apart from those he had portrayed so far in his
career. He represents the character of a toddy businessman.
“Fortunately both Sanath and Saranga had the perfect looks for the
characters when I approached them for Sangili. Sanath had short cropped
hair for a film while Saranga had to grow long stresses for another
production. The looks went well with my characters. I had little to
change and both were very dedicated to the project,” Pannipitiya noted.
Pannipitiya had got into directing through a tragic-comedy named
Political Jokes. He had earlier assistant directed a number of
teledramas and films like Shirley P Wijeratne’s Samawa which starred
Vijaya Kumaratunga and Sabeetha and Dinesh Priyasad’s Kolompure. He said
that the direct move to cinema was a challenge but one he was able to
overcome easily because he had done a lot of research on the subject.
He laments about the fact that most theatres demand commercial movies
rather than give space for artistic creations.
He said, “Directors will have to make sure that they will be able to
book cinema halls before making an artistic production. Many circuits
are seeking commercial productions and only a few halls wish to run
artistic movies. Sometimes there isn’t a single hall in a region which
will allocate space to run an artistic creation. Some would allow the
film to be screened during a certain gap which may come in between two
movies but take it off theatres even if masses come to see the movie.”
He is engaged in composing the script for his next movie which he had
titled Gartha. The story, penned by A H Karunaratne, is about a
prostitute begetting a child from a differently abled lawyer.
Walking With Dinosaurs
Fox on a deal for Walking With Dinosaurs
Marking one of the American Film Market’s biggest deals in years,
20th Century Fox has snapped up domestic rights and several key
territories for BBC Earth’s $65 million family film Walking With
Dinosaurs 3D from Stuart Ford’s IM Global.
Walking With Dinosaurs is now soldout worldwide, only a week after it
was announced at AFM. Insiders say it’s safe to say that the presales
cover most, if not all, of the film’s budget.
The huge appetite for Walking With Dinosaurs points to the overall
slowdown in global film production, and the demand for bigger films with
commercial appeal, even from the Hollywood majors.
Walking With Dinosaurs 3D is the largest pact ever closed by IM
Global, which is repping worldwide rights to the CGI/live-action hybrid,
based on the popular BBC series created by Tim Haines.
BBC Earth, Evergreen Films and IM Global parent company Reliance Big
Entertainment are backing the production.
Chinese Film Festival in Colombo:
Strengthening Sri Lanka – China friendship
[On focus ]
* Cell Phone
* Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
* Gimme Kudos
* Li Mi Conjecture
* Spring Subway
* Volunt - Documentaries
* Flying apsaras
* Old town
* Rock carvings
The National Film Corporation (NFC) is holding a Chinese Film
Festival under the patronage of the Chinese Embassy on November 26.
Seven films including four documentaries will be screened at NFC
premises from November 27 to 30. The inauguration is on November 26.
Scenes from the Chinese movies which will be showcased at the
The event is aimed at strengthening the growing relationship between
Sri Lanka and China while providing the locals with a high quality
“This gives meaningful effect to the cultural agreement signed by the
NFC and China sometime back. We will be able to collaborate closely with
China, on Cinema and other cultural activities,” noted NFC Chairman
A few months ago a Sri Lankan delegation visited China to hold a Sri
Lanka film festival in Beijing. A similar Chinese delegation will visit
Sri Lanka next year to showcase some of their stunning creations.
China now possesses a fast developping cinema industry. Last year
China made over 450 feature films. That figure is the second largest in
In 2000 nearly 400 feature films have been produced. The record is
seven times the amount produced in the previous year.
There has been a surge in the popularity of domestic film market by
large increasing audience viewership. Therefore Chinese cinema has
developped to an extent where it can even compete with Hollywood.
“We need to study foreign films to develop our own industry. We will
be able to draw some inspiration, upgrade our knowledge and guidance
through such productions,” Abeysinghe said.
He noted that more foreign festivals will make appearance next year.
Chan plans his own museum
Actor Jackie Chan is planning to open a museum that will have all the
props from the movies he has worked in.
The Karate Kid star plans to create ‘Jackie Chan World’, a place
where he can put everything he has purchased over the years on show for
He said, “All my props and costumes, I put them there. I want people
to go in and see them. Now I am planning Jackie Chan World - everything
I’ve collected all these years will go in there. Teacups and saucers,
cars, rocks, spoons.”
Guzaarish: Ode to the physically challenged
Three years after the much-hyped Saawariya failed to ignite the
Bollywood box-office, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is wooing audiences
with a film dealing with euthanasia.
Guzaarish, which opens in Indian cinemas and Liberty cinema,
Wellawatte, on November 19, stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai
Bachchan in the lead.
“Euthanasia is a subject that has never been handled in Indian cinema
before but it is a very important subject. Human suffering cannot be
comprehended just like that, so if you can make an entertaining film
with big stars and a big platform but still talk about it as a sensitive
issue, then that is what we are doing. We are not propagating it, we are
not taking sides,” Bansali commented on Guzaarish.
He noted that Guzaarish is the most difficult film of his life.
He said, “Post Saawariya not doing well, I did not want to be bitter
in life. I did not want to be depressed. That want to live and be happy
was the most after Saawariya didn’t do well. As a piece of art,
Saawariya is the best thing I have done so far and it is the proudest
moment of my life. So I was spared the trauma of depression.”
Cold vibes between Rani and Vidya
Right now, Rani Mukherjee is working with Vidya Balan for their
upcoming movie No One Killed Jessica. The new movie is going to be a hot
release as it stars two of the most gorgeous bombshells of Bollywood.
However, reports are rife that the two beauties are not the best
buddies on the set for this upcoming flick. It goes without saying that
Mukherjee is a senior actress with many great performances and awards in
her kitty, and on the other hand, Balan is just few films old.
Crew members suggest that Rani maintains a distinctive behavior that
inhibits Vidya from talking to her and Vidya is not very keen about
breaking the ice as well. The two beauties simply give their shots and
then scurry back to their vanity vans.
The film’s crew members also suggest that the Rani and Vidya do not
come out of their little ivory towers until the next shot is ready.
Although no one has seen the two actresses get into a battle royale
of words, the cold vibes on set is so thick that it can be cut with a
knife! So what is the reason behind this strife? Reports suggest that
designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee ditched Vidya for Rani Mukherjee for his
directorial debut and since then the two actresses are not in talking
Rani, on the other hand, asked the director of the current film to
make certain changes to the script.
Image acquires Swank’s Resident
Image Entertainment has picked up all U S rights to Hilary Swank
topliner The Resident from Exclusive Media Group’s Hammer Films. The
film will be released theatrically in the spring.
Directed by Antti Jokinen the movie, also stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan,
Christopher Lee and Lee Pace.
Resident stars Swank as a beautiful young doctor who begins a new
life in Brooklyn after separating from her husband.
Her stunning loft seems too good to be true, until mysterious
occurrences lead her to believe she’s not alone.