Film: Coronation of ‘King Siri’ - Sri Lanka Guardian

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Film: Coronation of ‘King Siri’

“The film shows the two different worlds of the children of well-to- do and powerful parents but who have no connection to the country's culture, language or way of living as opposed to the talented children coming from the rural, under privileged background who have respect for culture and tradition.”
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(March 31, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Somaratne Dissanayake's latest direction 'Siri Raja Siri' (King Siri), a tale of a child from a rural background who is selected to a leading college in the town and the challenges he had to face thereafter will be screened from March 6 at Savoy Wellawatte and other 35 EAP circuit cinemas. Another children's film with a message to the world of adults, 'Siri Raja Siri' alias 'Kiriibbanaare Maharajathuma', Somaratne Dissanayake yet again introduces another talented child Kokila Jayasuriya to the cinema

Sirimal played by 'Kokila', an11 year old boy from a very poor family in a remote village, obtains the highest marks at the year five scholarship exams, and enters a star college in the city. As he has to mix with classmates from rich and high class families Sirimal encounters a lot of social and financial challenges. He gets selected to play the lead role as the king in a school stage drama, and now, his biggest challenge is finding money to make the royal costume.

The film shows the two different worlds of the children of well-to- do and powerful parents but who have no connection to the country's culture, language or way of living as opposed to the talented children coming from the rural, under privileged background who have respect for culture and tradition. The film also is critical of the system of education and the type of generation produced specially by the privileged schools in the country.

As in 'Suriya Arana', director Dissanayake proved his ability to capture the rural beauty of this county with the help of cinematographer Channa Deshapriya. Rohana Weerasinghe's score with soothing melodies with traditional music styles is effective and rendition of Edward Jayakody's voice has added much colour to it.

Speaking to the ‘Sri Lanka Guardian”, producer Renuka Balasooriya said the film is partly her husband (Dissanayake) own experience as he too came from a remote school to a town school.

"My husband was inspired to do this film by a short story written by Srilal Nanayakkara sometime ago. It was about a child who passed the scholarship examination and came to town for higher education," says Balasooriya.

And everything that he have captured in his film is relevant to the present. "Parents would do anything to admit their children to popular schools.

They will change their addresses and teach the children how to lie,". "Of all the films I did about children, 'Siri Raja Siri' is a film that appeals to the children's world very much," explained producer Balasooriya on her husband's new film.

Details of Film

Country of production : Sri lanka
Year of production : 2007
Running time : 88 minutes
Screen ratio : 1:1.66
Original format : 35mm
Sound : Dolby digital

Cast
Kokila Jayasuriya (child) - Sirimal
Jayalath Manoratna - Drama teacher
Mahendra Perera - Father
Dilhani Ekanayaka - mother

Crew
Music Rohana Weerasingha
Art Director Lal Harendranath
Sound Kalinga Perera
Editor Ravindra Guruge
Cinematographer Channa Deshappriya
Producer Renuka Balasooriya
Story & script Somaratne Dissanayake
Directed by Somaratnee Dissanayake.

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About director - Somaratne Dissanayake

Studied science subjects in school, and obtained the first degree from London University in Medical Radiography. Migrated to Australia in 1978, and while practicing in the medical field, did the post-graduate studies in performing arts.

Obtained M.A. degree (Directing) from Sydney University in 1997.

Given up the permanent residency and citizenship in Australia, with the highly lucrative medical profession in view of making films in the motherland, Sri Lanka.

All of his films have won many international awards in various world festivals, interestingly, his films are not only artistic successes, but also commercial successes, as he is in a habit of breaking his own box office records every time with a new film.

He is the recipient of the “Peoples Award” as the best artist of the country for last three consecutive years.

Filmography of Somaratne Dissanayake.

2000 - Saroja
2002 – Punchi Suranganavi (Little Angel )
2004 – Suriya Arana (Fire Fighters)
2005 – Samanala Thatu (Butterfly Wings)
2008 – Siri Raja Siri (King Siri)

- Sri Lanka Guardian

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