TV Guide Magazine  


Sandamali TV presenter cum banker - A perfectionist

By Sarasi Paranamanna
She comes to your living room with a pleasant smile with the news bulletin and she has managed to capture the attention of the viewers through her latest programme, ‘Thirasara’; but she is not only talented in the field of electronic media; she is also a banker. This versatile multi talented personality is none other Sandamali Hewanayake who had a chat with The Nation about her years in journalism and banking.
Literature, aesthetics are not strange to her and definitely journalism is not a subject which is foreign to her because as the daughter of Daya Jayasekara, who was a journalist at the ‘Dawasa’ newspaper, she inherits the skill and interest in journalism. “My father started his career as a journalist and my mother used to write poems and verses. So, from my childhood, I was exposed to reading, literature, classical music. I learned to appreciate literature and music with my father’s influence as he himself was an enthusiast in these subjects. So, I think the background was set for me to choose this job and it is familiar as I was exposed to these areas from my childhood onwards”, says Sandamali. At a very young age she had been lucky enough to get chosen as a television (TV) presenter in Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC). The SLRC had wanted school students to host a morning show and Sandamali had been in the first year of Advance Level (A/L) Examination at Sirimavo Bandaranayake Vidyalaya when she got chosen for the morning TV programme; ‘Uda Vikashaya’. Today, she is one of the leading TV presenters at Rupavahini, and in the course of her career in electronic media she has hosted popular TV programmes like ‘Irida Ayubowan’, ‘Volt 33,000’.
Apart from her career in electronic media, Sandamali is also a banker who is employed at the Standard Chartered Bank as a public relations manager. Obtaining her Master of Business Studies (MBS) from the University of Wales, today she is a successful professional in the banking industry as well. Inquiring how she manages her busy lifestyle, Sandamali said, “I entered into these fields at a very young age and I am used to the routine now. I work at the bank during week days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and I keep the evenings for the news bulletins. I also work at Rupavahini Corporation during the weekends since I present a programme on Sunday”.
Being an avid reader, Sandamali said that she spends most of her leisure time reading and listening to classical music. Since her childhood she had been encouraged to read a lot of books and to enjoy classical music through her father’s influence. She further said that she especially enjoys reading books by Sumithra Rahubadda and Gunadasa Amarasekara and other award winning literary books. Keeping herself updated with all the new stage dramas, Sandamali said she never misses a good performance as she is keen to explore and appreciate literature and stage plays. Speaking about her family Sandamali added, “My husband is Achintha and he is currently working as the Head of Operations at DFCC Vardana Bank, and I also have a nine year old son who studies at Asian International School.”
Lastly, Sandamali did not forget to lend a piece of advice to all youngsters aspiring to join the electronic media. “Being a TV presenter is not about looking glamorous on the screen, but one has to be informed and knowledgeable about current affairs because it is a vast responsibility and being knowledgeable about what you are dealing with is of paramount importance to be successful in this path”, she said eagerly. Speaking about her future plans Sandamali said she wants to be remembered among people as someone who did a productive task, “I want to do justice to my job and being a TV presenter is a vast responsibility because you have to be among people delivering the right message”, she enthused.

Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake


‘Ira Handa Yata’ best film at Identita film festival

Director Bennett Ratnayake’s feature film ‘Ira Handa Yata’ (‘Under The Sun and Moon’) won the best film award at the first edition of the identita film festival which was held in parma and barcelo, Italy from July 27 to August 1. It is aimed at promoting cultural identities of various societies from very foundation of love and compassion which is universal to all societies. The identita film festival was organised by the Learn To Be Free Onlus (LTBF), a socially-oriented foundation to create working opportunities for people in a difficult situation, be it economical, social or cultural and in particular for women.
It promotes the fusion of the various cultural diversities into one single platform of Love and Compassion. The patron was former speaker of the chamber of deputies of Italy and president of the LTBF foundation, Irene Pivetti.
Sixty films from all over the world competed for the final award of the best feature film 2010, of which six films were selected (three German , two Italian and one Sri Lankan) from which the best film award was made.
The jury, presided by Michele Guerra, Professor of History and Critique of Cinema at the University of Parma, Italy and comprising renowned Italian film directors, unanimously decided to award the prize of ‘Best Film’ to Bennett Ratnayake’s ‘Ira Handa Yata’.
This is the first time that a Sri Lankan film has been awarded the Best film award in an Italian film festival. The jury, explaining their decision, said that it was awarded for ‘sensibility and poetic manner with which he was able to deal with a difficult theme’.
Prior to this ‘Ira Handa Yata’ won the Honorable Jury award at the Los Angeles film festival held in July and was also nominated for the award of best performance at the 23rd Singapore International Film festival In April. It will also be showcased at the forthcoming Pyongyang International Film Festival in Korea.
This film discusses the brotherhood between two soldiers during the conflict era of Sri Lanka. Their Love and struggle in life with a powerful storyline centering on two soldiers who were held captive by LTTE between 1998 and 2004. The film will be released in EAP theaters from September 2 onwards.


Failed ambition of Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya forgot to speak about Rajini in the Audio Launch function as she was upset over the way her expectations were treated.
Aishwarya has demanded a grand introduction theme for her on the stage of Endhiran’s Audio launch but she was greeted to the stage just by a praising talk of Vivek, making the 40 year old beauty to be angry and lose her steadiness.
She came to the stage with no big themes and started delivering her speech.  After talking about all, she left out the prime man -Rajini and started to move out of the dais.
All of sudden she came back running and spoke few words about Rajini!
It is not clear why her demand for a special theme was not adhered.

Vivek to tie the knot with bangalore girl Priyanka Alva

Vivek Oberoi is ready to tie the knot. He is marrying Priyanka Alva who is a Business Management Graduate from London.
 Priyanka Alva is from Bangalore and she is the daughter of famous dancer Nandini Alva and late Jeevaraj Alva, Janata Dal (U) leader. It is known from sources that it is supposed to be an arranged marriage and though the marriage dates have not yet been fixed, it is expected to be in October. The couple is getting engaged in September.
 It is also known from sources that famous Bharatanatyam dancer Padmini Ravi arranged the marriage. Sources also said that Priyanka is ‘level-headed and intelligent. She is non-filmi, sociable and sweet-natured.’
Previously, Vivek once said that he would love to marry the girl selected by his parents, “I am sure the match my parents pick will turn out to be the girl of my dreams.”

Nandini, Priyanka’s mother said, “This marriage has come as a blessing from all our well-wishers and friends. Though this is an arranged marriage, my daughter is very happy. Vivek and Priyanka share a great passion for social work. That is their best connect. Priyanka completed her education in New York where her subjects dealt with non-profit organisations and social work. She is very pleased with the fact that Vivek also shares the same passion having contributed and worked towards aiding several social issues.”
If you like Katrina, check out Isabella

Having made the Hindi Film industry her second home, Katrina Kaif is now all set to make way for her younger sister Isabelle who is equally pretty like her.
Isabelle has been learning acting in New York. Her course is likely to be over by the end of this year, after which she will follow her elder sister’s footsteps.
Katrina Kaif is soon going to launch her own production house and one of the films to be made will launch Isabelle into Bollywood. However, Katrina has not yet decided about the director who will helm the project.
Buzz has it that Kats is eyeing some of the top notch directors for the project as she wants a super hit launch of Isabelle into film industry.
Hmmm!!! Kats is undoubtedly a beauty with brains.