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 actresses.

“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 December.
“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 Ratnayake.
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 on ETV’

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!” said Ferrey.

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 – photographer, author
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).

Diya’s natter

With her sweet and innocent looks Diya Mirza has won the hearts of even those who may think she is not particularly talented.
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 clothes.”
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 Putthiran’.
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.