Old Cinema Artists

A child who followed the fathers foot steps - Gamini Jayamanne

It is a souvenire “The Kadawunu Poronduwa” of B A W Jayamanne. We were called the father of the Sinhala cinema. He was the pioneer who performed in the films his wife was Periyamashel later known as Grace Jayamanne famous artist in the cinema. They had three daughters and one son. He was Gamini Jayamanne. Who followed his father’s footsteps selected an employment in the field of cinema. This time we meet him with our Meepura, Aesthetic and drama.

If we discuss about the former days of your life (childhood)?

My hometown is Periyamulla. I studied in Maristella College Negombo. I had a interest in photography. When I told after ayya in the Lion studio about my idea he advised me to learn development of photos before snap them. So after school I went there and learn to develop the photos. Gradually I learn photography. After leaving school I worked in a studio. In the meantime I was applying for jobs. One day Eddie Uncle (Eddie Jayamanna) told me that there is a vacancy in Wijaya studio. Apply for it I was interest in photography. Then Eddie uncle said if you engaged in photography you will have to go outside from the area very often. This is better that you would be stay in a place and work. As he forced me to take the job I agreed. I was 21 years of age.

What are the initial experiences?

We are not allowed to go near the editing table to touch it. I had to stand by the side and wait for 2 years. In front of a armature the don’t cut the tape. If one of them were present they do some trick to avoid them. Drop a reel and let the new one pick it up. In the meantime they cut the tape. It was like a secret of God. Mr. W.B. Ruban changes this attitude. He said learn by cut and chop. So I didn’t wait 2 years. Bernard Reginald and Secstus Aponsu helped me a lot.

Can you express about your contributions ….

Editing is the heart of the creation. There are many aspects. I have contributed in 60 movies in different aspects. I could broaden my knowledge by working with various persons. When a person work with many directors as the assistant in this field could have much experience learns many things. Because when the directors are different the methods they used are also different.

If you could work with different directors as an assistant you will be able gain experience said Mr. Anton Gregory. Because the different directors do their work differently?

Those days I needed money. I didn’t won’t to chase behind the titles. Some editing I was done had titled by others. They are “Mevilapenevi Rupe”, “Sankapali”, ”Christu Charitaya”, “Viragaya”, “Koti Valigaya”.

What are the significant events?

Once Lionel had lost some words of last scenes in “Chiristu Charithaya”, so by looking to loops and created the words complete the work. Memory of Menif Kurukulasuriya was much appreciated.

Another event was about “Handaya”. It had 4000 ft long tape and had to edit to 1000ft. it was a challenge task. Mr. Titus Totawatta had shooted one scene in four parts. He said to bring it aright by chatting and chopping the tape. I made it some how. He was very happy and presented me Rs. 200. It was very big amount in those days. To receive such amount from Mr. Totawatta is a strange thing.

What about our Tale dramas?

Editing is absurd very weak. They don’t just movies but someone has to move it. Many scenes repeats because posing time Foreign tale dramas are more popular than Sri Lankan. We have good dubbing artist. When you consider about “Shanthi, Pragathi” They are well popular because of the dubbing artist. You must think deep about.

About films

We shoe tale dramas in Cinema halls. It is significant when compare with Hindi and English. Some Indian stars would miss to watch films because of rehearsals. So they have a better understanding about their roll. Our stars get their script when they arrived the location. So they don’t get the real emotions. Just take a mood express the words. Today dramas are prominent because they rehear and devote to the task.

When the scenes are changed the lens must be changed. The cameraman uses the No 55. The directors ask what the lense is. Cameraman answers No 65. Director says O.K. but director doesn’t know the reason. Probably these may be the reasons to have downfall in the cinema.

What do you say about the comedies?

I love comedies. The reason is the action not the films. Even some English shows don’t have sounds (or mute) we can have fun on them. Are the comedy films of ours give the same taste?

Address – No .18, Minarva, Mustim Road,
Periyamulla, Negombo.

Shall reminisce Hugo Master

“Negombo” it is the native place of many artist. The committee of commemoration of Hugo Fernando had organized a commemoration ceremony for him on the 14 July 2003 fallen on his birthday. They had launched a compact disc his famous songs.

He couldn’t continue his studies due to poverty. As he had a keen desire in music he improved his talents with his own effort. He was born in Negombo and started his carrier from his home town.

He played for the choir in church the first assignment he was engaged in. He polished his talents under W.M. Perera a veteran musician. He contributed to Rajasinghe Leela and B A W Jayamanna’ s stage plays of ‘Hathwana Peya’, ‘Awatharaya’, ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ in music. He composed and directed music in ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’ and continued performing as a star and a musician in many fields. He presented his services and never would craze his name among his fans. His performance was unique in his witty jests. He was a leading artist who engaged in the protest campaign for the establishment of cinema. The pieces which he colored with his unique performance are under mentioned.

His Roll plays…

Kadawunu Poronduwa Soora Chauriya Ganga
Banda comes to town Eamthikama Unnath Dahai Malath Dahai
Prema Tharangaya Ruhunu Kumari Ching Ching Nona
Puduma Lelie Adarawanthaya Maruwa Samaga Wasai
Ahankara Sthriya Ataweni Pudume Deepanjali
Mathalan Mee Messo Muwan Pellessa
Dostara Den Mathakada Seetha
Duppathage Duka Ohoma Hondada Hondin Inna
Sooraya Suli Sulang Kinduru Kumari
Seriyalatha Singgak Pooru Chali Kolang Karaya
Sepali Surekha Thakkita Tharikita
Wana Mohini Sihasuna Sanda Mali
Sandeshaya Kalyani Ganga Hithath Hondai Wedath Hondai
Adata wediya Heta Hondai Sargarika Malagiravi
Udarata Menike Sahayata Deni Araliyamal
Dheewarayo Hitha Honda Miniha Yali Hamuwannai
Chandiya Kokilayo Kelekella
Allappu Gedara Sooraya Soorayamai Ali Baba
Oda Dutu Da Raja Gedara Paraviyo Sathi
Rana Giravi Kawda Raja  
Sinha Raja Cherio Doctor  
The songs were composed in…….
Kadawunu Poronduwa Banda comes to town Prema Tharangaya
Puduma Leli Ahankara Sthriya Dosthara
Duppathage Duka Sepalika Wana Mohini
Weera Wijaya Amethikama Ruhunu Kumari
The songs were written…….
Thakkita Tharikita uda pena natanna hithuna Sandyawe sri ramya Ho handa dee beia yana ganga
Lankaren malak pipe selenne Lokaya perelai kale geviyayi Lapati rupe ayage
Geyakgane wedapala kara indala Honda handama deya lowa  

“We can’t enjoy the present witty jests.” - Pitipana Silva

 Full name  -  Pitipana Silva
 Date of Birth  -  02- 01-1928
 Father  -  Francis Silva
 Mother  -  Mariya Fernando
 School  -  Roman Catholic Church - Pitipana, St. Mary’s Maristella. Kandana, De mazanad
Please tell me something about your family

I have eight children. All are married No one engaged in this field although I wanted.

When did you start your performing

I performed a witty jest in a drama at lowers of age when I was a member of a drama society We traveled to villages to performed dramas.

When did you start performing in films?

After seen my performance in matalan master Hugo invited me and encouraged me. He helped me a lot.

Tell me about your films

Matalan, Nalangana, Sekaya, Gopalu handa, about 24 films.

What are the other esthetic performance you had engaged in?

I wrote dialogues of 3 films. They are “Nalangana”, “ Sekaya” and “SasarakaHeti”. I worked as an assistant director in seven films. Apart from above three “Gopaluhanda”, “Weerawijaya”, “Ohoma Harida ?” “Ran Rasa”

Could you remind the persons who encouraged you?

First of all, my father had a keen interest for me to involve in the performance. He laughs when I perform. I can here his laugh still. Hugo Master, Mr. Patric Rodrigo and S.M. Nayagam helped me.

An unforgettable event if you have?

I performed a roll of a mad person. Anthony C. pushed me down the hill. The guards held me. Instead they pushed down a puppet resembles me. It went down and crushed in to pieces. It frightened me.

The awards you received?

Kala Bhooshana award in 1994

Rupavahini – Television is it a hindrance to films?

It is the streams which demolish the film industry.

What is your opinion of comedy?

Don’t be angry. I love comedies. But the comedies in these days are not the same. Someone has to tickle us to get us to laugh. Only after Eddie Jayamanna the Joe Abevikrama are the prominent.

The message you give to new commers?

We never had an intention towards financial benefits. We really loved this field, to serve it. I request them not to be slaves of money.

Do you have some special message?

I am regret that we are not regarded with all my service. All who are unsuitable win the opportunity but not the suitable ones.


I am 74 years. I am a sick person. I am unemployed. My wife is a patient about six months. I am in lots of trouble. No one care for me, even members of my field. I am paid Rs.2000 from 1994 from the President fund. I live with this little money with difficulty. Only the directors Nimal Silva and Anton Gergary come to visit me on and off.Address – No. 545, Pubudu Mawatha, Daloupotha.

“We were deep in their hearts” - Bonifhus Fernando

He is a leading artiest identified through the cinema. He performed in several films

‘sirimali’, ‘suhada divi piduma’ and ‘sudu sanda Kalu wela’ products of Ceylon theatre. We never could erase them from our minds. We would like to expose a little from his experiences were related by him at his residence.

Family back ground

I am the youngest son of Mr. Users Kurukulasuriya Fernando. Both my parents are from Negombo. I have three eldest sisters. The basics I learnt from st. peter’s college and after passing grade 5 had entered to st. Mary’s English medium for higher studies. M wife is Nimalee Fernando and I have four sons and a daughter.

The initial

I had joined a musical group, a small group. We played the Serpina, thubla and flute, the eastern musical instruments. We were well famous. We performed in parties. When time passes we named our group as meepura new aesthetic and drama society. We were to perform dramas, unfortunately we couldn’t engage in the dramas. The team was Anton Fernando, camilaus Fernando, Wijetunga pavolin Fernando, Berty alvis, Claud de soysa, Charles, Nevil Fernando. It was in 1954. While we were carrying on these performances met Eddie Yapa, he gave me an opportunity to sing a song in radio Ceylon. I was selected to the first place. Then he sent me to a competition and I was selected from that also. The director of radio Ceylon Mr. Ebrahim salee called me and instructed me to compose and rehearse 6 songs for recording. At that period I was working in the electrical section of royal air force. When the British left the country in the time of Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranayke I had lost the job. Then I started working as a manager in Mihira hall.

Opportunity for the first film

I got an opportunity to participate in a small role of Rayalala film. By seen this film the manager of cinemas inquired me whether I would like to act in films. I said if got a chance I would. Then he introduced me to Robin Thampo. He interviewed me and selected for his film. The shooting was done in India. Mr. Thampo asked me for the amount of my salary. He said that we had to stay for six months in India. I would be paid 4000 Rs in addition to ticket, food, loading. I agreed because I was so enthusiastic in acting. The film was ‘sirimakli’. We had to start shooting of the film following day. The director was one Mr. sami requested me to perform by playing a song. The song was ‘ akese awase soorya nagi’ then he kindly corrected some shortcoming (defaults) and asked me to continue. The female star was Sujatha weerasekara formerly it was shown in Tower and Sellamahal theatres. After a short time past was shown in the Elfinston. There was a massive crowed because it had to show continuously in the theatres the projectors had to cover with wet gunnies as there were no intervals between shows.

We were living deep in there hearts

I had worked in the ‘Sirimalee’ theatre at Galle after this film, later, at the ‘Asoka’ theatre in Puttalam. In the meantime I was called to act in ‘Suhada divi piduma’ Sir. Chittampalam Gardiner offered his studio for filming.

Master’s Name - Anton Gregory
Home town - Negombo (Where you born and bread)
School - I first went to Wellavediya Tamil School and for SSC to Loyala College.
When did you start the carrier?

When I was about 19- 20 I was in S.S.C I love movies. A film was shooting at the Negombo beach we heard and all the gang went to watch it. The shooting was done of “Deewarayo”. A film of Mr. Mustan the scene was Sandya Kumari’s. She was singing a song “Sathutak soya” and performing. A big crowd gathered. I had a longing to enter to the field. I went and told Mr. Musthan that I am interested in the field. I am from this area. Could you join me to the field I asked? He inquired me how many languages could I speak. I said all three languages I could speak, write and read. Later he requests my address.

When did you join?

They needed a translator. A message sends me through Hugo master to come to Wijaya studio.

How many films have you assisted to direct?

About 43 films, O worked under Mr. Musthan, Lenin Moras, Niel Rupasinghe, Gamini Fonseka (The directors)

Didn’t you decide to direct a film?

I directed 6 movies. “Yali Pipunu Malak” (black and white), “Sankapali”, “Kiri Suwanda”, “ Paramitha”, “Sura Saradeyal”. The best supporting actor in “ Paramitha” was Ravindra Randeniya award of Sarasavi. Sugath Prassanna was the best actor in “Sura Saradeyal”.

What are the awards have you received?

I received an award from Catholic Foundation in 1984 for Briton a Tamil film for assistant director. An award received for falicitation of 40 years carrier in cinema by President Premadasa received an award when the stars born in negombo Zone were awarded by Cardinal Cooray center in 1991. Hon. Father Siril Gamini awarded me for the assistant director of most films. To felicitate the serorce done for the aesthetic field awarded me in 1999 by Thisars society of Arts.

What do you feel about Cinema?

I regret that good creations are not born today. The producers must understand that these are performed before people. Who are ……. All could understand the story must be enjoyed If they are not understood. The purpose is lost. We talk to theirs. Today the people are exhausted when they come out with a word or the film. They enticed so much with it. The sings will not quickly from them.

What is the reason?

They don’t learn the subject. They imitate Hindi films. If a Hindi star drink a tea holding with left they follow the same. We are very much ……………. The Indians shooted Dheewarayo film in line with our lives. No conflict? Learn something. Discover the subject. Produce something worth. A good message to people Share what you know. Even though I don’t much involved in the field I still study. Discover not only local material but also foreign material. How many things are there to study and learn?

Leena Fernando Born with “Sath Samudura”

Negombo is the birth place of cinema, starting with the movie “Kadawunu Poronduwa” about 50 years back. Leena Fernando the only daughter of C. Benjamine Fernando who was the initiator of the Mangala Cinema society before forming Minarwa drama society and a dramatist of Tower hall Murine Wickramaratne. She wsa the artist who was introduced with the “Sath Samudura” film. We went to meet her at Bolawalana her residence.

Full Name Chakrawarthiege Mary Girtroot Leena Fernando
Place of birth Bolawalana
School St. Mary’s convent today it is Bolawalana Maha Vidyalaya
Tell me about your family background briefly?

My father was Benjamin Master. He is dead. He had taken leave from us and from the cinema. My mother is Murine Wickramaratne. She is a Tower Hall artist. My husband id Shelton De Silva, daughter Chandani De Silva,son Cahminda De Silva, youngest daughter is Shanika De Silva.

If I say you have inherited from your parents this field of cinema?

Yes you are correct. Our father began performing before starting the cinema. He was a devoted to perform dramas in Mangala Drama society, Minerva society. B A W, Hugo master. Benedict Fernando. Mathayas Fernando. Theres Weerasinghe, Luis Rudrigo, Edie Yapa all these artist were born in the same area including my father. My mother was a Tower Hall artist.

How did you join the cinema?

There was a father in our church he loved dramas. He gathered the youth and directed a Roman story. My father also was involved in this. So I did a roll of a Roman soldier. Dr. Leenus Disanayaka who was the producer of “Sath Samudura” who was in the audience to see the drama invited me to perform in it.

Could you remind some movies you have performed in?

“Sath Samudura” directed by prf. Siri Gunasinghe, Robin Thampos “Dehadaka Duka” “Picked Pocket”, “Deviyane Oba Kohida”, “Sully Sulang”, “Thisahami”.

You have performed a significant roll in “Sath Samudura” Wimala’s roll was appreciated much, as a broken hearted over you have performed with Siril Wickramage. You did some unique rolls in few movies. They are unforgettable and remarkable. Have you resigned from performing? Haven’t you?

No I won’t. it is within us. But now I am not in the cinema Tale dramas or stage. There are many reasons. I was away from the country. After my marriage in 1974 we return back because of the education of children. I got many invitations. But I couldn’t leave my children. But the situation is changed. I must rest now. I had a heart operation. Only God helped me to live it is a miracle. Now I live in relaxed.

All though you are not actively participating you appreciate the activities of the field. Many discriminate the Television with the arrival of it because of the T.V. the field of cinema had a down fall. What is your opinion?

Television can be watched freely without any charge but movies are different. To create a movie has to spend a lot of money. So many films are not produced. Now the movies are produced with less expenses with the intension of earn more income. So the movies are not quality ones absurd no value. That’s why there is a down fall in films.

What about the streams of comedy shows?

People are not fools. They are spending two hours to enjoy. They are the earlier ones they never show fifth. Don Sirisen, Anthony C., Christy Benard, Joe made many witty Jests, audience could enjoyed very much. Many try to make people fun but fail, now people (audience) laugh at the stars not the jests.

What is your advice to new comers as a mother of two daughters?

We were very humble and timid. I earn still remember once Ananda Jayarathne sat on the arm of chair where was I seated. I got shy. I performed with Wijitha Mallika, Marcus Samaranayaka, Ashoka Ponnamperuma, Stanley Perera (Sabeetha’s father). Modern stars are much in front. They are willing to involve in any roll without hesitation. We never brought any insult. Please continue with dignity in performing. This is not a command only a reminder as a mother.

The female star who was talented in dancing, singing and performance relaxing at her residence with her husband and the children.

Jossy Baba Colored by Helen Sakunthala

It was a master piece of unique artist among the artist in Negombo. Mr. Luis Rodrigo. He was a member of Mangala Natya Sabawa and Minarwa which was the promotion of Sri Lankan dramas Jossy Baba was colored by the wife of this unique artist Helen Sakunthala. We went to meet her at the residence near a by road in Bolawalana road in a quiet serene environment. She started to chat with us as follows.

Full Name Kudupitige Mary Helen Sakunthala Rodrigo
Place of birth Pitipana, Negombo
School Pitipana Maha Vidyalaya (School at village)
Could you express something about your family background?  

My husband is a well famous dramatic Luis Rodrigo. He is died (10 Years ago) I have two sons and both are married. They have children. Now I am a grand mother.

How did you join the field?

My mother died in our early years. There were four of us. They had entered me to a convent. When we grew little older my brother got married. So my brother sent us to an aunt of us. (Mother’s elder sister) She was a person who hired curtains for dramas. While we were there one of my uncles came in searching of girls for a dance with the master. He saw me and asked permission from my aunt to take me for the performance. My aunty agreed because she knew that there are my uncle and his wife to care me. Master took me to Kandy. There were Flori Margarret Akka and Luis Rudrigo. They did the comedy parts. I joined with Shanthi Lekha, Foridevi, Wimala Kantha for the Rumba dance. Later I had a chance to act with Luis Rodrigo.

If I say, your first drama was the Jossy Baba?

Yes. You are correct. It was the time that Luis Rodrigo was well famous dramatist some female stars were keen to act with him in the dramas. I got a chance to act in Jossy Baba with him.

Could you remind some dramas you had performed?

“Pissa”, “ Dharmapathi”, “ Jeewithaya”, “Duppathage Duka”, “Siwamma”, “ Dhanapala”, “Laksh Hatara”, “Pathiwatha”, “ Hithuwakkari”, “Balagath Kasiya”, “ Nirmala”, “Baristor Hamu”, “Gahala Kolla”, are some of the drama.

Probably you may have had performed more in your husband?

Yes. But there are few of others. Ladie Ransinghe’ s Duppathage Duka”and Frori Akka ‘s “Balagathu Kasiya” are few of these expect the others. My husband wrote them in English and someone else had to write the same in sinhala as he not fluent in Sinhala Language.

Can you remember some co – artist?

Rukmani devi, Hugo Master, Pitipana Silva, Eddie Junior, Pearl Vasudevi, Shanthi Lekha, Romles Ayya, Andi Ayya, Soma Akka, were them.

You have performed only in few films Is that so?

Yes.  Very few. “ Eda Rei and “Jeewitha satana” .

If remind about the programs of comedies in the radio?

We did fascinating marvelous comedies such as “Kamkaru Peya”, “Vinoda Wataya” M M  V recording.

Do you have any reason to abstain from Tele dramas?

No. There were no televisions. Only they have come recently. Recently T had a chance to appear in T.V. drama Uththanavu Jesu (Ascended Jesus) a Christmas drama by Franas Wanniarrachchi. He took me for four, five tale dramas. All Christmas dramas, Edna Sugathapala, Wilbert Anthony, My husband introduced Wilbert Anthony. Those days we went with Mohideen Beg to the radio Ceylon. Jothipala came after us. Harun Lanthra, Roni, S.B, Latha were with us. Amaradeva also were there. Then we called him Albert Ayya.

What do you say about the Tale dramas, Cinemas and Dramas?

There are so many new comers they are very much skillful clever than the artist in our time. They have chanting voices. Those days the artists were not much educated. Some could not even sign. They were illiterate. Now most of the artist we must get back and give them more chances to walk forward.

How do you feet about the modern day stage plays?

They are very much improved than earlier. I hate the dramas are not interesting. Even people do not see them. There is nothing valuable. Those will full down. I do not see dramas much now. So I can‘t express something. Jossy Baba had been played uncountable times. There is a photo of mine in Town hall.

As today’s artist you didn’t earn money by performance. Is it true?

No nothing. That’s what I had to go abroad. When my elder son was an infant my husband went abroad to India. He went for dubbing of “ Salli Eppa” film. He wanted me to go with him that to perform in the film while we were ready with passport to leave about a businessman suddenly same to meet him. He was Benetle Amarasekara. He said “Don’t go Rudrigo I will pay you good money. I will provide you lodging, dinner, all your needs. In 1950 he promised to pay Rs. 50-70 when my husband heart it was reluctant to go abroad. I pleaded him to go. He didn’t listen. There were carnivals, singing, dancing performance of witty jest. Every hour there was a show we worked five years with him in Trincomalee, Matale, Ampara, only two weeks in a place, then raised a conflict between Muslims and Sinhalese. Then our boss said no money to pay their wages and send them. What could we do? I had 4 ½ sovereigns and Lakshme had five severing were taken.

Do your children engage in aesthetics?

One of my grand sons plays in a group. He plays the otiopad. Some wanted to get my eldest son for the films and dramas we didn’t allow. Those days many artist were uneducated I very well remember your involvement in some social welfare work with us through board of aesthetics to help the matured artists zeroed much. Can you express something about it?

The Rukmani Devi commemoration hall was erected in 1990s. Master John, Master Hugo, and Mr. Camilus, all of us had engaged in many activities together. The pioneer who initiated the board was Sarachchandra Goonaratne. I performed the Jossy baba in this time. Now there is nothing happening. If someone could start some organizations It will be better for Negombo area. I would give my support. I could get the town hall free of charge.

Much new commerce has started to sing old songs and change them converted in to their version. It is like an epidemic Siwamma Dhanapala has change and modified by Tenison Cooray and started to perform. What is your opinion?

It is a famous comedy. I heard the story recently when I went to tower hall. The stars that had performed in Siwamma Dhanapala should have been invited. All crazy over earn money.

“They feel awards are for their films only” - Lal Disanayaka

I was studying in St Joseph College my father was the one who initiated the production of films. I didn’t have much interest in studies. My father was arranging to produce a film in 1965. it was “Sigiri Kashyapa” but it didn’t work. Then he started to do “Sath Samudura” as I was not production. Then I was about 16 or 17 years. The work begun Shooting was in Pitipana. Director was Dr. Siri Goonasinghe and the editor and the photographer was (cameraman) Mr.D.B. Nihalsingha. First I work at the light board. I was really interested in that. Concentrated on all the work of the movie. The many who were working in the film were armatures the artists and the editor and most of the members. It was their first film I snapped some still photos for the first time in this show. In the same day I developed them. I installed a dark room in my father’s dispensary. The first song of the film was recorded in the “Sarasavi studio” and that was the first time I went a studio. Those days there are about 20 or 30 people in the orchestra. All the singing music everything were recorded at once. It was not an easy task. “Sinindu Sudu Mudu Thalawe” the song started. At 9 O’clock. In the evening but even at 6 O’clock it didn’t over. The tape was cut and joint to listen the song.

Selected 10 best films out of the films which had shown in the cinema halls. “Sathsamudura” also got selected but “ Delowak Athara” didn’t. Did you forget your fraud? Why you know. They presented awards to “ Delowak Athara” but exempt the  “Sathsamudura” earlier.

Sometimes the same song had to be recorded several times when there was a tiny mistake. If it couldn’t finish from previous recording collected best and joined together as a complete song. When the work was over I worked as the assistant director and learnt much. The film rolls were not so expensive and they were black and white. So sometimes about 80000 feet shooted and selected what is appropriate. Today only 25000 feet are used. We had to learn even technical matters. So there were many mistakes.

After editing even the film was very long had spent 3 hours my father said who would watch a film so long. The script was too long. Shorten it to 2 houes. Next we had to shoot the scenes for “Sinindu Sudumudu” song. Later song was dubbed to the title. The other scenes covered with the parts of then title song. There was not a separate recording. We made mistake with our ignorance but we had learnt many things.

As all the movies were controlled by “Cinemas” and “Ceylon” theatre. The independent producers had to face many obstacles and adhere to so many rules and regulations. The newspapers of Lakehouse assisted us. Finally some how movie was shown in the theatres. The conflict started with the “Sathsamudura” over by …… a new film company. A new path had to create for the independent producers to move on without being disturbed by old authorities.

“Sathsamudura” received eight awards sarasawi for best film, best editing for Nihalsinghe for Denawaka Hamine, Edmond Wijesinghe, Mahagama Sekara and another two awards.
There was only one film festival the sarasawi. When we received awards for our film didn’t receive any for “Delowak Athara”. After a month of the awarding ceremony raised a society called S.C.J.C. it was initiated by Leslie Boteju, Gamini Hattetugama, Tissa Abeysekara, Neil I. Perera. Three films were nominated from them. “Sathsamudura”,  “Delowak Athara”,Sadol Kandulu”. “Delowak Athara”, was selected for the best film and won the award. They did it with rivalry as Leslers films didn’t receive an award. They continue festivals some films of ours were nominated but didn’t present awards for ours. Never send invitations sometimes later the same the films screened for 25 years but didn’t select “Delowak Athara”. I went and inquired Tissa Abeysekara. Why? Couldn’t you forget the crude you did could you. They had forgotten what they did 25 years earlier. That’s how those some people behaved. Those are very bad. They think that only they must receive awards. They do not allow to new once to come up. (Rise)

We did “Wesgaththo” after “Sathsamudura” I did the production and editing both so as the “Sihina Lowak” and “Walmath Woovo” then I got retired. There is some fault in Film Corporation. They only take over the directors responsibilities. But they didn’t look to our matters. If we had spend money on movies and don’t earn a profit it is futile. Corporation doesn’t help us.

My father bought me an editing table later brought me a camera, light, sounds, recording instruments. Now learn he said I gradually learn every aspects of the field. I have edited 40 to 50 films. Snapped in 3 films later some abnormal movies started to produce. We don’t like them. I started recording in the studio in 1980 Sarath Dassanayaka helped me. He was new to the field but Mr. Kemadasa didn’t like him working here because he was a disciple of him. Sarath encourage me to start the studio said not to be afraid. We started working. Before completing one year we received many work, Cassettes films. Even we work in Lester and Sumithras films Mervin Bains also work with us. I return to Ceylon Theaters In 1988 and 1989 had started conflicts in politics. Then my children were little grown ups immigrated to Australia. I travel up and down Learnt much technology.

They use the same utensils we use here. Then why can’t we have the same quality so I went in search in the studios there. I started again my work 2 years back with the new  technology and with new software 3 worked in music, sounds I do some video editing. I have a background. I am anticipating producing a new film. I have already written the script.

Two youth ones working with me, No one owned the kcchnolod we use. We do music also with the computer some are against with these new technology. If there are easy path why don’t we walk on that. After Rupavahini arrived many in experienced started working. Some people feel that if they are trained for 6 months in enough, they knew every thing. Never can a person learn many things for 6 months. Still we are studying. New technology is not allowed to import and distribute to clever people. We never can be improved the work they must allow new ones to learn or they must learn this new technology. So the field can’t be developed. Once when a new utensil was to be fixed in the film section Mr. Tissa Abeysekara obstructed it. Brought many gadgets to music section worth of 150 they are idling. Later they didn’t allow bringing the remainder. Everything can be done locally.

My father is from Kochchikade. There are five in my family. I am the eldest. Have two younger brothers and younger mother is with my brother in Negombo. I have desire to open a studio in Negombo I strive to hand over this challenging task to future generations.

Last Update: 29-07-2015

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