Cinema of Sri Lanka

Probably, many do not suspect that in such a small state as Sri Lanka, there is a film industry. Almost everyone has heard about Bollywood, and many are fascinated by the films of the Indian dream factory. At the same time, in India, as is known, there are regional studios, which remove tapes in regional languages. Plots, budget and music often have nothing to do with mass cinema in Hindi. If we draw an analogy between regional cinema in various languages of India and Sinhalese films in Sri Lanka, the situation is much the same. These are relatively modest budgets for films, an abundance of full-scale filming and a minimum of studio. At the same time, the cinema in Sinhalese language is truly unique and original.

The very first full-length tape, which was filmed in Sri Lanka, was called «Kadawunu Poronduwa» («Broken Promise»). The film was released on the screens of the country in 1947, exactly one year before the proclamation of independence from the British colonialists. The first color film of Sri Lanka was born much later, and was called Ranmuthu Duwa. Subsequently, some Sinhalese films, such as, for example, Nidhanaya, received several international film critic awards. The most influential producer in the history of Sri Lankan cinema, Lester James Peiris has shot a lot of movies of superb quality. It was his work that received the recognition of critics and viewers around the world. His latest painting Wekande Walauwa («Lake Mansion») was the first film nominee from Sri Lanka for the title of Best Film in a foreign language for the recognition of Oscar-winning film academics.

Director Wimukthi Jayasundara in 2005 became the first representative of Sri Lanka's film industry to win the prestigious Camera D'Or Award for Best Debut Film, winning a number of other awards at the Cannes Film Festival for his film «Sulanga Enu Pinisa» («The Forgotten Land „). At the same time in Sri Lanka, the tape made a lot of noise in the connection that the author openly showed several erotic episodes and nude parts of the actors' body. The films of the controversial director Asoka Handagama, as many critics of the Sri Lankan cinema world believe, are the best films in terms of reflecting the truth about the ethnic conflict that lasted for several decades. Now Prasanna Withanage is one of the most famous producers of Sri Lanka. His films have won many local and international film awards. His films “Sooriya Arana», «Hiripoda Wassa», «Samanala Thatu» again brought the people of Sri Lanka back to the cinemas. And the Lankan-Italian tape «Machan» («Mate» or «Fellow») won the hearts of the European public, who discovered Sri Lankan cinema, perhaps for the first time. The film was also dubbed into several european languages. The large-scale, colorful and spectacular paintings of «Siri Parakum» or «Maharaja Gamunu» have become pearls of Sri Lanka cinema and adequately represent the best examples of world cinema and music in the genre of historical narrative.
Sri Lanka's films are not limited to works in Sinhalese only. Tamil films are also filmed in Sri Lanka for the Tamil population of the country. Such paintings are part of the Hollywood, that is actually Indian Tamil cinema. Small Sri Lankan Tamil studios producing films for Kollywood are also based in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan cinema almost always concerns eternal themes — family relationships, romance novels. The stories woven in the years of conflict between Sinhalese military and Tamil rebels are met on the screen quite often. Many films in Sinhalese, and in general Sri Lankan cinematic style is similar to Bollywood. And the paintings are very reminiscent of Indian cinema. But, as they say, if in the Indian cinema the actors are really overreacting, then in the cinema in Sinhalese — they do not play at all. Professional actors in the country, as such, alas, are few. One of the few professional actresses is Jacqueline Fernandez. Starting the career of a model and actress in Sri Lanka, Jacqueline left Sri Lanka a few years ago and has now made a dizzying career in Bollywood, starring with leading actors in Hindi films. According to rumors, she is invited to make a contract in Hollywood. But while the actress herself has not confirmed or denied these rumors.

An indispensable attribute of Sinhalese, as well as of Indian cinema, is the insertable musical numbers. Quite often, even for a film with a failed plot, the viewer goes solely because of the beautiful and original music. At the same time, pop music, which sounds from every radio in the country, is largely a product of the film industry. Such famous performers as Nanda Malani, Umariya Sinhawasa, Uresha Ravihari, Dayasiri Jayasekara or Athma Liyanage in a different way time have recorded soundtracks for various films. Their names on the poster — a pledge that the audience room will be complete, because the new beautiful songs will come to listen to almost everything! What is the superhit from the movie «Spandana» titled «Man winda adare oba handa» sang by Umariya or a beautiful song «Rathagili naliyana gimhane» from the movie «Juliya» cost! And the song of 2013 by Athma Liyanage «Hitha dura handa» is still one of the most beloved in Sri Lanka, becoming an object for creating a lot of musical remixes.

Having heard one of melodic songs from the TV screen or from the radio's speaker, — and there are many of them on the streets, in shopping centers and tents, — ask the local residents, who is the performer or from which movie this song. And you will be surprised how much your Sri Lankan friends will tell you about the cinema and the music of the movie. Or maybe, and together go to the nearest cinema premiere? After all, with film art you need to get acquainted not with stories, live.

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Song Man vinda adare oba handa, Film Spandana

Song Hitha dura handa, Singer — Athma Liyanage, Ayemath Adaren

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