AYU: a soul-searching story | Daily News

AYU: a soul-searching story

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardhana presenting the award to Dr. Malani Fonseka
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardhana presenting the award to Dr. Malani Fonseka

January 22 was filled with a spellbinding experience. Remarkable sounds, colours, inspirations and lots of emotions were galore when AYU was screened in celebration of the 74th anniversary of Sri Lankan cinema at Savoy Cinema, Wellawatta.

AYU is the maiden movie production of General (retired) Daya Rathnayake and the second film of Chathra Weeraman after his first cinematic masterpiece Aloko Udapadi.

After a moment of silence remembering all those who have departed from life including Sinhala, Tamil, Malay and Muslim directors, producers, actors, actresses, technical and non-technical contributors to the Sri Lankan film industry, the event marked a phenomenal beginning with the presentation of a special award of appreciation to the ‘Queen of Sri Lankan Cinema’ Dr. Malani Fonseka for her 155th acting contribution in her glorious career over 5 decades. The award was presented by the guest of honour, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardhana attended by the State Minister of National Heritage, Performing Arts and Rural Arts Promotion Vidura Wickramanayake, Chairman of National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka, Jayantha Dharmadasa, Producer of AYU, General Daya Rathnayaka, Group Director of Ben Holdings, G T Jayaseelan on behalf of EAP movies, Director of AYU, Chathra Weeraman, Director of Weeraman Brothers, Saman Weeraman, Chairman of Independence Television Network, Sudath Rohana along with part-sponsor of the award and Chairman of FLEXPORT, Dr. Nandadasa Narayana. The tribute speech for Dr. Malani Fonseka was done by veteran actor and member of board of directors of National Film Corporation Dr. Ravindra Randeniya.

The event was also graced by Dr. Rewant Vikram Singh, Director of Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre and a limited number of guests including print, electronic and social media representatives complying with COVID-19 health regulatory requirements.

Presented by Weeraman Brothers and story by Saman Weeraman, AYU stars Sandra Mack, Jagath Manuwarna, Malani Fonseka, Ashan Dias, Kenara Wiratunga, Samanalee Fonseka, Sampath Jayaweera, Priyantha Sirikumara, Thumindu Dodantenna, Nalin Lusena, Udara Abeysundara, Kasuni Kavindi Fernando, Akalanka Prabashwara, Dinushika Senevirathne, Thiwanka Ranasinghe, Prasanna Dekumpitiya and Dasun Pathirana in a guest appearance. The crew includes Kalinga Deshapriya cinematography, Chamara Selara as Assistant Director, Bimal Dushmantha in production designing, Saman Alvitigala in film editing, Milinda Tennakone in music, Harsha Manjula and Haroon Shaideen in makeup department, Sasika Marasinghe in sound deparment, Dinindu Jagoda and Lahiru Madhushanka in editorial department, Kumara Karawdeniya in costume designing, Shehan Obeysekara in production photography, Iresh Karunarathne, Primal Ranasinghe and Sashika Ganegodage in Production Management and Anuradha Weeraman as the Associate Producer.

AYU rotates around a compassionate love story of a young man and a woman brought together by their fate. Together they set on an intriguing journey of soul-search over the hustle of material life. They will inspire you to think about the purpose of life. Life is simply the experience of being alive from birth to death, which is however an endless struggle whether it gives a feeling of achievement or otherwise.

Taking the film along socio-political and economic spheres too, the director has brought together the ‘core’ and ‘periphery’ of social life in Sri Lanka, in some of their extremely challenging situations. Chathra has done a marvelous job in capturing the beauty and struggle of the characters in their own ways, making the film feel so real and close to life. Inspired by some true events the story flows through the platonic relationship of a young lady doctor and a beach boy sharing the feeling of getting themselves wet in the same rain. With Dolby Atmos surround sound technology AYU makes you experience each and every moment in the film as you are living in it.

We are reminded that we live in a world full of relationships out of which most are accepted while there are certain relationships which are denied or tabooed. The question is, whether all such relationships are damaging? Couldn’t some of those unaccepted or nameless relationships be fulfilling to those who are involved in such relationships? Find out when AYU comes to your nearest film hall.