Challenging portrayals | Daily News

Challenging portrayals

‘Hima Tharaka’ (Snowy Stars), the latest film directed by well-known journalist, lyricist, film and teledrama director Rodney Widanapathirana has begun screening in film halls islanbdwide. This movie comes after his film ‘Ira Sevaya’.

The cast of ‘Hima Tharaka’ includes the award winning artistes Jagath Chamila, Nadee Chandrasekara, Amarasiri Kalansuriya, Wimal Alahakoon, Maureen Charuni, Wasanthi Gunarathna, Miyuri Samarasinghe and Manel Wanaguru.

Q: Is ‘Hima Tharaka’ being screened as a “gap film”?

Yes, we know that a gap film is screened in the time period left between two films.

Q: Recently many such films were screened. ‘Ira Sewaya’ was also screened as a gap film. What is the reason for that?

It is because of the current situation in the film industry. There is a significant delay in screening films which is a huge disadvantage for the producer. They have to wait for a long time having invested money on the project until the screening. If the film becomes less popular the producer has to bear additional financial losses too.

Q: One of the major problems in the industry is the inability to bring people to film halls. People are not coming to film halls much.

The situation has become serious compared to the past. In the past a film producer was able to at least find the invested money even if the film becomes a slight success.

That’s why ‘Hima Tharaka’ was screened as a gap film. Our need to do something for the industry as artistes has been restricted due to such challenges we have to face. The high production cost is the main issue. Films which are produced investing a lot of money might bring alot of revenue however, the profit is not enough compared to the expenses.

Q: Even popular film producers are now thinking twice before producing a film.

How was the film ‘Hima Tharaka’ produced?

‘Hima Tharaka’ was produced with a low budget. There is no intention to make huge profits. Shooting of the film was done for a long period. As the director I tried to bring strong incidents into the film. Curiosity is there throughout the film. The spectators may feel that in various ways. This is the main source of attraction towards the film.

Q: Why are story based films suitable for the country?

Once Dr Tissa Abeysekara stated that our film spectators still prefer story based films. Therefore I wanted to tell the story while arousing curiosity. I tried to build characters accordingly.

Q: Jagath Chamila stars in a creation of yours after many years.

Yes, I have to specially mention about him. He acted in a few of my first teledrams. He was nominated for the best upcoming actor award for his performance in my teledrama ‘Hathe Wasama’. This was the first time he was nominated for such an award.

Jagath is a talented actor. Although he was not awarded at that time he became popular as one of the most talented actors in the world after becoming the world’s best actor at the New York Film Festival. I have to specially mention the sacrifices he made for the first scenes of ‘Hima Tharaka’ where Jagath acted the role of an old man. Other actors and actresses were also very supportive.

Q: Why have you moved away from the teledrama field for a long time?

Now we do not get any satisfaction from teledramas. It has been heavily commercialized. Even though those days viewers could remember teledramas now we can’t do so when we consider the number of teledramas telecast a day. We never made teledramas to earn money. We want to be satisfied with our creation. These days they don’t even show at least the cast of some teledramas. That air time is also used to earn money by showing advertisements. We only know the beginning of a teledrama at the end of another only after the name is displayed on a corner on the screen. Can we be satisfied with a teledrama in which at least names of the artists are not shown?

Q: Many critics say that the current trend in Sri Lankan films is artistic. What is your opinion?

Those days films which had similar stories and parts were known as commercial films. They had hero, herione, villain, songs, dances and famous actors and actresses. Now not only in Sri Lanka, but also in Bollywood commercial films, the trend has changed. Most of the Bollywood films have a heart touching pattern now. With the development in education and technology the spectators have also changed. That’s why the present films have an artistic trend.

Q: Isn’t there a crisis with imaginative commercial film makers?

Films cannot be screened without considering its commercial level. As the film industry is an expensive industry each and every film should at least cover its expenses. If not film producers will not produce such films again. In the past many film producers made artistic films along with those that were attracted by the general public. Hence they engaged in the industry continuously though sometimes the artistic films failed.

People charge that commercial film directors with imaginative skills. They do not emerge now because the film industry has collapsed. Can you imagine that commercial film directors would come to a declined film industry which does not attract people and one which is full of losses? Since films in the past made profits many gathered around films as an industry. Many successful commercial film directors emerged among them.


 

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