What to Read Next

Sri Lankan movies picking up, but hurdles remain

M.R. Narayan Swamy
23 November 2013

Panaji, Nov 23 (IANS) After being battered for years by ethnic conflict, Sri Lanka's movie industry is picking up but has a long way to go to come on par with its once golden era, a Sri Lankan director said Saturday.

New cinemas are finally coming up, although the total number of theatres across the island nation has dropped from 300 plus in the 1970s to less than half the number, director Rasitha Jinasena said.

"Younger people are now making movies. I think the industry will have a better future," Jinasena told IANS on the sidelines of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) here.

"Yes, new cinemas are also slowly coming up

…

But there are problems. Freedom of expression is an issue. We are not as free as in the olden days. We have to be very careful about what films we make."

Echoing the sentiments of others in the Sri Lankan movie industry, he said the army was now very touchy about any film made on its role in the war that crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

Although a bilingual country, Sri Lankan produces dominantly only Sinhalese language movies - 20-25 a year. Each film releases some 30 copies. About 500,000 people - a miniscule number compared to India - watch each movie.

According to Jinasena, a box office hit may get one million viewership and "once in a blue moon, a movie may attract about two million".

The 38-year-old Jinasena, who entered the movie industry nine years ago, has directed three Sinhalese movies, including "Karma" and "How I Wonder What You Were".

He has also co-produced two films including a French-Sri Lankan project and a Bollywood style masala movie.

"In the golden era of Sri Lankan cinema, people flocked to see movies," Jianasena said.

"But poor quality and the war drove them away from theatres. But after the war (ended in 2009), people are beginning to return to cinema halls as the fear of bomb blasts is over."

He said one reason why Sri Lankans did not produce Tamil movies - rare exceptions apart - was that well-produced Tamil films came from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

"Instead of wasting money on producing a Tamil movie, it makes better sense to watch an Indian Tamil movie!"

The Sri Lankan admitted that the movie industry in his country had a long way to go, particularly vis-à-vis quality of studios and technical expertise which he said was available aplenty in India.

"We need to get the experts from India," he said. "Sound engineers, costume directors and so on. After all, aren't we neighbouring countries?"

(M.R. Narayan Swamy can be contacted at narayan.swamy@ians.in)

Success is in Your Hands

At MMI, you’ll get the hands-on experience and high-tech skills that employers need. A great career as a motorcycle technician is within reach.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Over 100 Million Items to Choose From at Sears

Save On Top Brands and Shop Everything From Appliances, Apparel, Lawn and Garden, Tools and more. 1 store Over 100 million items. It s all at Sears!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Compare rates. Save big.

We'll compare rates so you have more time for important things… like cats.

Switch and save!

Switch to Progressive and you could save an average of $548.

Reach your goal to quit with help from Nicorette

Learn about Nicorette gum's patented dual-coated technology.  Help reduce your withdrawal symptoms to help you kick your smoking habit.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Toddler tantrum email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track for advice on how to handle different situations that may arise with your little one.