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New voice for Lankan cinema

Daily News 2020-06-30 06:09:41

Globally, cinema industries are given significant prominence because the big screen magic cannot be compared to any other form of entertainment. But ironically in Sri Lanka, due to some unfortunate reason, cinema is at the end of the country’s priority list.

Many analysts attribute it to the lack of a powerful, all-encompassing film body in Sri Lanka that could voice concerns relating to the local film industry and thereby showcase its real clout and impact. The long-felt need for such a strong federation comprising representatives from all film related trades has been felt severely since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this backdrop, vital action has been taken recently to set up a new powerful film body which includes key players in the Sri Lankan cinema industry.

A fruitful dialogue was held at the Cinecity complex in Colombo on June 11, with the objective of forming this federation comprising our country’s main cinema stakeholders.

Integral stakeholders in our cinema industries representing film producers, film directors, exhibitors, distributors, film artistes, technicians and importers participated in this historic meeting to discuss potential measures to protect and uplift our cinema industry which had so far been virtually isolated with no proper ‘combined’ body to voice its concerns to the relevant authorities and the government as a whole.

Earlier, most film trade personnel had their own associations limited to their specific areas and some had been partially inactive.

This resulted in high-profile discussions aimed at film development ending with no results. Eventually, there is no united body representing cinema stakeholders to submit proposals or protect the rights of cinema personnel, resulting in cinema figuring right down in the list of priorities.

The new joint body focusing on all these aspects have been tentatively named ‘Ceylon Chamber of Cinema' (CCC), while a final decision on it will be taken following another round of talks. CCC hopes to work in harmony with the various existing film unions or associations towards meeting this common goal.

The following members were unanimously elected to the executive committee.

•Chief organiser: Buddhi Keerthisena

•Convener: Nishantha Pradeep Mohottige

• Executive committee: Somaratne Dissanayake, Udayakantha Warnasuriya, Sriyani Amarasena, Nita Fernando, Sunil T Fernando, Arjun Kamalanath, H D Premasiri, Sarath Athukorale, Imthiaz Cader, Thushan Rangana, Pravin David, Lucky Dias, Ravindra Guruge, Hemal Ranasinghe, Rohan Pinnaduwa, Channa Deshapriya