in action again
By Ramesh Uvais
Guess what's common in films like Nidhanaya, Golu Hadawatha, Gehenu
Lamai, Madol Duwa, Akkara Paha and Handapana? They are of course
a few select Sinhala movies, which got noticed for being different
from the rest, but there is more to it. All these films were captured
on reel through the lens of veteran cinematographer turned film
director M.S. Ananda.
Ananda who later became a household name with films like Mage Nangi
Shyama, Chandi Shyama, Hello Shyama - in which his daughter Shyama
Ananda created a sensation portraying bold, tomboy roles - now resides
in Canada with his entire family.
after about 10 years since he made his last film (Mama Baya Ne Shyama),
Ananda was in Sri Lanka recently on a brief vacation.
for those who are curious to know more about this versatile filmmaker's
latest moves, here's some good news.
an interview with the Daily Mirror, Ananda whose film career spans
more than 50 years, revealed his plans to make a new film, which
would be shot on locales in Sri Lanka and Canada.
always believed in neat entertainment for the whole family and my
new film will also be on a similar family theme, but the approach
will be totally different. Apart from scenes shot in Canada and
Sri Lanka, I also plan to picturise two songs in India handled by
Indian choreographers, " said Ananda, who is reluctant to talk
much about his own achievements.
had his education at St. Matthew's College, Dematagoda, Ananda and
Zahira College, Colombo, Ananda's passion for photography grew from
his childhood. His burning desire to become a photographer overtook
his family's dreams of seeing him taking up a good job and he entered
the magical world of films in 1949 as an assistant cameraman at
the Sundara Sounds Studio where, Banda Nagarayata Pemineema - the
first film to be completed in a local studio - was released in 1952.
also worked behind the scenes in Prema Tharangaya and Eda Ra before
leaving to follow a filmography course in India where he worked
with big names in Bollywood.
said legendary stars like MGR and Sivaji Ganeshan had tried to coax
him into staying back in India after he completed the course, but
he was keener to work in his motherland.
he joined Ceylon Studios as the chief cameraman and worked for films
such as Pirimiyek Nisa, Daruwa Kageda?, Awiswaasaya and Heta Pramada
that was the first chapter in Ananda's film career, his creative
side fully emerged through his links with renowned filmmaker Dr.
Lester James Peiris in Nidhanaya, Golu Hadawatha and Akkara Paha.
he continued to receive recognition and fame as a creative camera
director, he also directed some films - Sithaka Mahima (1964), Satha
Panaha (1965) and Ethulweema Thahanam (1966). Later in 1969 he shouldered
the dual task of producing and directing Prawesamwenna, following
it up with Mage Nangi Shyama, Chandi Shyama, Hello Shyama and Mama
Baya Nehe Shyama in which his daughter Shyama Ananda played key
films dished out a generous dose of entertainment by way of catchy
songs, dance sequences, thrilling fights and of course, sentiment.
Me Re Paya Awa', the popular duet in Ananda's film Satha Panaha
is a hit even today, but he recalled how the song was sarcastically
criticized after the film was released.
often can we continue to make films on the same monotonous theme.
I like to do different shades of films that will provide quality
entertainment and value for money. My new film will have a lot of
animations and I am planning to launch my 14-year-old grandson Ritchie
Perera (Shyama's son) as the hero of the film, which will be basically
children-oriented too. Besides him, I will be introducing some new
faces whom I have already interviewed," the veteran said.
a lot of discontentment has crept into the mind of Ananda after
he was not invited for a ceremony organized by the National Film
Corporation to mark the 50th anniversary of the Sinhala cinema seven
was in Sri Lanka then. Loads of praise had been heaped on Nidhanaya
at the event, but the organisers failed to remember the camera director
of the film," he lamented.
on the current status of the Sinhala cinema industry, he said the
state should play a major role to lift the industry from the present
should be given to technological aspects in which we are far behind
other countries. We must have our own colour lab for processing
films. On the other hand, all third grade sex films, which are mushrooming,
should be immediately banned. Today most theatres cater to adult
audiences while families are left with little or no option at all.
should be made with good story lines giving social messages. It
is a pity that some industry men who turned politicians also appeared
to have done little for the film industry. Lastly all our theatres
should be upgraded if the industry is to be revived," said
Ananda who will be returning to Canada before the National New Year.