Monday, May 16, 2011

Mahindagamanaya Sinhala movie opening after Vesak day

Sanath Abeysekara’s newest movie ‘Mahindagamanaya’ based on the arrival of Buddhism to Sri Lanka will be screened in the CEL circuit from May 18 this year to coincide with Vesak
The historic movie, which will coincide with the significant 2600 Sambuddha Jayanthi, was launched with the blessings of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Buddha Sasana Ministry.
Spiritual wake up through cinema – Ruwini Jayawardana

More than 2,350 years ago, in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by nature’s splendors, a dramatic encounter which will go down in the annals of history unfolded. Two characters received precedence at this meet. One was Ven. Arahant Mahinda Thera, son of Emperor Asoka, and the other was the reigning king of Sri Lanka, King Devanampiyatissa.
Ven. Arahant Mahinda Thera was on a sacred mission to spread the teachings of the Buddha. However such precepts cannot be handed over in one go. The monarch’s intellectual stature was graded after a quiz. He withstood the test. The island prospered by embracing Buddhism.

Bringing this significant moment of spiritual awakening to mind thousands of Buddhists visit Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, each year on Poson Poya day. This milestone in the history will be rekindled when director Sanath Abeysekara begins shoot on his much talked about movie Mahindagamanaya. The Muhurath ceremony of the event took place at Gangaramaya temple last week. Ven. Pallagama Hemarathana Thera, Ven. Galabada Thera, Ven. Agalakada Sirisumana Thera and Ven. Magalle Nabitha Thera took part in the event which evoked blessings for the project.

The film is part of the project aimed at celebrating the 2600th Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi in 2011. It aims to send the message of the compassionate nature of Buddhism across to the world.
Speaking at the event, director Abeysekara said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Buddhist Affairs Ministry have been very keen on the film. He added that he had worked on the script for nearly a year and had done a lot of background research to include accurate details to the story.

“The opening chapters of the movie include a few scenes of Emperor Asoka. We will be flying to India in January to shoot these episodes. We are constructing the monuments of places and other buildings and working on the costumes. These have to be done with care so that modern elements do not emerge in the pictures.
Even the characters acted and talked in a specific manner. We hope to give the full experience of travelling back in time for the audience,” Abeysekara noted. He also said that he had to undergo several threats and criticism when he took up the challenge of making the movie.
“Some questioned why a young and less experienced filmmaker should take on such a colossal project but I withstood my ground. Shooting is scheduled for November and December in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee and Vavuniya,” he said. He also added that one focal point of the tale is the moment when Queen Anula and Prince Aritta renunciate from lay life and enter the Order of Sangha. This will be done in a realistic manner; Abeysekara stressed while pointing out that it was only after Buddhism took over the isle that the locals were gifted with rich literary work.

Producer of Mahindagamanaya, Daminda Upali Fernando of Best Life Cinema said that one of the main reasons which motivated him to produce the movie is the fact that the director’s self confidence and dedication.
He added that the movie will be made as an act of social hospitality service rather than a tool for profit making.

Sinhala Film Mahindagamanaya Cast
Main Actor : Jeevan Kumarathunga
Main Actress : Dilhani Ashokamala Ekanayake
Actor : Roshan Ranawana
Actor : Joe Abeywickrama
Actress : Udari Warnakulasuriya
Actress : Oshini Dias
Actor : Roshan Pilapitiya
Actor : Bimal Jayakodi
Actor : Menaka Rajapaksha
Actor : Cleatus Mendis
Actor : Kumara Thirimadura
Actor : Luxman Mendis
Actor : Asela Jayakodi
Actor : Sarath Dikkumbura

Sinhala Film Mahindagamanaya Crew
Director : Sanath Abeysekara
Producer : Daminda Upali Fernando
Music Director : Rohana Weerasinghe
Cinematographer : Channa Deshapriya
Costume : Nilhan Senewirathna

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