Busan: Prasanna Vithanage Sri Lanka Auteur shines with sunny children

Busan: Prasanna Vithanage Sri Lanka Auteur shines with sunny children Busan: Prasanna Vithanage Sri Lanka Auteur shines with sunny children

Sri Lankan independent filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage premiered the world premiere of her film Sun Children ("Gaadi") at the Busan International Film Festival. The film is set in 1814 in Kandy, Ceylon, as the country was known at the time, against the background of the Sinhala nobles' rebellion against their South Indian ruler and the arrival of British colonialism. This follows the struggle of a removed nobleman who fights for the preservation of his identity.

"The film calls into question identity in a world where people are polarized in different ways, at a time when identity politics has come to the fore," Vithanage told Variety. "And I thought setting a period reflected the times we lived."

Sri Lanka Film Island is the main producer of the project with investor H.D. Premasiri and Prasanna Vithanage Productions. Indian producer Jar Pictures is also a co-producer. The budget is low by Sri Lankan standards, at $ 560,000.

The film features high-tech talent from India, including film artist Rajeev Ravi ("Wasseypur Gangs"), sound director Tapas Nayak ("Maadathy, a Fairy Tale", also premiered in Busan) and editor Sreekar Prasad ("Flowers of Heaven"), with whom Vithanage has worked. on seven projects.

Vithanage is Sri Lanka's independent cinema doyen. His films, which include "Death on a Full Moon Day", "The Sun of August", "Flowers of Heaven" and "With You, Without You", have been screened around the world and he is a stimulating generation of aspiring Sri Lankan filmmakers.

"Sun Children" will organize an expanded festival after Busan. The commercial edition of Sri Lanka is scheduled for January 2020.

As elsewhere in the world, the distribution of Sri Lankan independent cinema remains difficult. "New digital devices and easy access to software have made the filming process less cumbersome and, in most cases, more democratic," says Vithanage. "It simply came to our notice then. In terms of distribution, young filmmakers have to compete with Hollywood and Bollywood commercial content.

"As a result, the screen time of local movies is decreasing. Even for local films, distributors are looking for films that would allow for a family-friendly distribution. & Nbsp; So filmmakers experimenting with content find it difficult to get distribution because their films end in a disappearing order and await release. So, more interesting movies tend to be mixed between movies or in limited quantities. "

Vithanage is already the pre-producer of the next project, temporarily titled "Songbird". "It concerns an unconventional parent who fights the education system and, in his view, stifles creativity," says Vithanage.

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