TV Guide Magazine
Ratnayake’s ‘Ira Handa Yata’ themes on ethnic conflict
By Sarashi Samarasinghe
The 30-year old bloody combat which ended recently affected
the social lives of the civilians in our country. It caused
immense havoc between two ethnic groups.
The latest creation of Bennet Ratnayake’s ‘Ira Handa Yata’-
Beneath the Sun and Moon, narrates a story that touches on
the above conflict which revolves around an army soldier and
an officer who were held captives under the LTTE ruling
during the war.
“The story begins when the soldier embarks on probing his
senior officer’s life following his death on the
battlefield,” said director Ratnayake.
He further said that he has introduced two love stories
into the play to give depth to this interesting tale.
“What the story is mainly focussing on and trying to
emphasise is that the majority of the country should always
understand the minority,” said Ratnayake.
According to Ratnayake, the movie will be screened within
the month of August.
“‘Ira Handa Yata’ was created with the experience gained
during the 30 year war,” he added.
Ratnayake further emphasised that the cast embraced the old
generation as well as the younger generation of actors and
“Ira Handa Yata” was chosen as one of the 12 best films
in Asia at the 23rd Singapore International Film Festival
which was held in Singapore last April,” said Ratnayake.
The shooting commenced in June last year and concluded in
“The shooting was done covering areas such as Batticaloa,
Welikanda, Valaichchenai, Thoppigala, Thrikona Madu,
Dambulla as well as Colombo,” said Ratnayake.
The main two characters of the movie have been done by Udara
Ratnayake who performed as Rakhitha and Tasha Darshani who
performed as Kiruba.
The rest of the cast include Saumya Liyanage, Suwineetha
Weerasinghe, Kaushalya Fernando, Chandani Senevirathne,
Damitha Abeyrathna, Sheril Romane, Bimal Jayakody, Darshan
Dharmaraj along with many others.
“The movie will be shown under the EAP circuit,” said
There are two songs in the movie sung by Amarasiri Pieris,
Pradeepa Dharmadasa and by Nadeeka Jayawardane.
“The songs were penned by Wasantha Kumarakobawaka and
Kelum Srimal,” said Ratnayake.
Ratnayake said that he greatly appreciated the immense
support he had received from the cast as well as from the
technical crew in making this creation a success.
“There were hard times when shooting was carried out in
rural areas, but I am happy to say that I had a dedicated
team with a lot of will power to overcome all the
challenges,” beamed a relieved Ratnayake.
He further emphasised that when it comes to shooting there
were gigantic sets that recreated certain places such as the
Omanthai check point as well as LTTE camps.
Ratnayake has directed two movies and nine teledramas up to
now and ‘Ira Handa Yata’ will be his third movie direction.
“The two movies which I directed earlier were ‘Aswasuma’
in 2001 and ‘Sulanga’ in 2004. I have directed teledramas
such as ‘Sayuren Eha’, ‘Tharu’, ‘Grahanaya’, ‘Kalu Hansayo’,
‘Makara Vijithaya’, ‘Kadumuna’, ‘www.com’, ‘Sanda Sakmana’
and ‘Sudheera’,” recounted Ratnayake.
The screenplay of the movie is by Bennett Ratnayake and
Sarath Gamlath. The original story is by Bennett Ratnayake,
director of photography is Kalinga Deshapriya, assistant
direction by Ranjan Prasanna, make-up by Priyantha
Dissanayake, art direction by Sujeeva Gunarathne, music
direction by Rohana Weerasinghe, costume designed by Kumara
Karawdeniya and choreography done by Kevin Nugera.
The film was produced by Bennett Ratnayake, Samanmalee
Hewamanne, Oliver Fernando, Ruwan Jayasinghe, Vijitha Herath
(UK) and by Dilan Fernando.
‘Ira Handa Yata’ was directed by Bennett Ratnayake.
Concluding his conversation with the TV guide, Rathnayake
stated he hoped that ‘Ira Handa Yata’ will be an excellent
cinematic experience for all local viewers.
‘The Ashok Ferrey Show
ETV announced the newest addition to
its local programme line-up, ‘The Ashok Ferrey Show on ETV’,
hosted by the author himself, showcasing talented Sri Lankan
writers and artists on June 15 at The British Council. In
this show Sri Lanka’s writers and artists discuss their
life, their work and their aspirations, giving viewers a
chance to get up close and personal with the movers and
shakers of the arts scene here.
Creator, co-producer and host of the show, Ashok Ferrey, is
one of Sri Lanka’s most talented writers. Two of his books,
‘Colpetty People’ and ‘The Good Little Ceylonese Girl’, were
short listed for the Gratiaen Prize. His latest book,
“Serendipity”, was released last December and has already
gone into its third print. Best known for the unconventional
topics in his books, his conversational narrative voice and
of course, his humour, his work highlights the ups and downs
and the true nature of Sri Lankan society.
“The series is part of ETV’s mission to promote English
language literature and other forms of art in Sri Lanka and
bring the talented men and women of our country closer to
our audience,” said Executive Director/Channel Head of ETV
Ashani Jayasinghe. In Ashok Ferrey’s own words, the show
will enable viewers to ‘to rummage about inside the brains
of these guys and pick out the juicy bits; to find out just
what makes them tick.’ Ashok Ferrey brings to the show the
sense of humour for which he is justly famous, making the
series fun to watch.
“’The Ashok Ferrey Show on ETV’ does not include
high-tech cameras or Hollywood stunts, but its strength lies
in the fact that we pulled off an engaging talk show with
people who normally run a mile when they see a TV camera,”
said co-producer of the show, Dinuksha Wattegama.
“I am grateful to ETV for believing that writing is
important and worthwhile enough to warrant an entire show.
Hats off to ETV for having the courage to commission a
series like this; and I certainly had a ball making it!”
Writers and artists featured so far:
Vivimarie Vanderpoorten – poet, Mahen Perera – artist, Gill
Westaway – Country Director, British Council,
Yasmine Gooneratne – writer, Anura Ratnavibushana –
architect, Nazreen Sansoni – Barefoot Seneka Abeyratne -
playwright, Lal Medawattegedara – writer, Anne Ranasinghe-
poet, Anoma Wijewardene – artist, Juliet Coombe –
Royston Ellis - author
Natasha Ratnayake – musician, composer
Neluka Silva – author
Ramya Jirasinghe - poet
Geoffrey Dobbs – Founder, Galle Literary Festival, Shyam
Selvadurai - author Ewan Taylor – opera singer Vimukthi
Jayasundera – filmmaker and many, many more to come!
‘The Ashok Ferrey Show on ETV’ was premiered on June 19 and
will air weekly on Saturdays at 8.30 p.m. repeated every
Sunday at 8.30 a.m. and every Thursday at 10.00 p.m. on ETV.
Himesh’s film shelved?
Himesh Reshmmiya’s new films promos are out and the
singer-composer turned actor will soon start promoting Kajra
Re. But another of his movies was announced, but it is not
certain when that is being released.
The movie is called Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh, and an Indian
journalist asked Himesh what the deal was.
The actor says, “I have no clue what is happening to the
project. I have not heard anything from the producer for the
last nine months. He is not even in touch with me.”
We have heard that financial problems have stuck Mud Mud Ke
Dekh in the mud. A source from the industry says, “It was a
big budget film but the star was not big budget and the
spending on the movie was rising. The shooting was conceived
as a very high budget shoot. For one shot they decided to
shoot it in a bungalow by the sea side. But later they shot
it in Film City studios, when they did not get anything.”
So we asked Himesh if he has any idea about that. “No, I do
not know anything. For this film I have built my body
because as per the script I was supposed to go shirtless.
They had locations abroad and I shot a few scenes too, but
they did not get back after I began shooting for Kajra Re, A
Love Issshtory and Ishq Unplugged,” says Himesh.
Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh also has newbie Niharika Singh (a beauty
pageant winner) and model Jennifer Kotwal (who was once
linked to Yuvraj Singh and has featured in South films).
With her sweet and innocent looks Diya Mirza has won the
hearts of even those who may think she is not particularly
She may not have been part of any hits (except her debut
film RHTDM) but she is quite liked. Diya says she loves
shopping and her trips to the salon. The Indian media spoke
to her about the outdoor activity that all girls like.
“I am mad about shopping. I can go on and on shopping for
dresses, bags, shoes, sunglasses and accessories. Whenever I
feel the urge, I keep buying stuff. Secondly, wherever I
travel, I buy something which will make me remember that
place,” says Diya.
Which is your favourite shopping destination?
“There is no particular place. From Bandra’s showrooms to
London I have roamed everywhere and picked up many dresses.
So there is no place in particular. But wherever I go, I
pick the best!
So are you a brand freak?
Not exactly, I buy branded clothes and shoes. But if I find
anything exciting in Linking Road or Hill Road in Mumbai I
pick that up also. I usually like roadside jewellery. Those
bronzed and oxidised things.
You are comfortable in?
“Jeans and T Shirt or Pajama kurti, anything which gives me
comfort. But I am not the kind of person who goes out like
that. Since childhood I have been very particular about my
|Asin does not care about SIFCC
Actress Asin is very casual about the steps taken by South
Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (SIFCC). The actress is now
flying down to Sri Lanka to shoot the Hindi film ‘Ready’,
which is again a remake of Yesteryear Telugu blockbuster
‘Ready’ and is now getting remade in Tamil as ‘Utthama
In a TV interview, Asin has said that the film has been the
only medium that has been breaking the barriers of borders,
languages, castes and religions. We do not see who the
person sitting next to us is or the caste he or she belongs
to. It does not make sense about stopping us from travelling
to Sri Lanka and getting the film done.
The film was supposed to be shot at Mauritius and later
shifted to Sri Lankan forests that have some best locations.