Over the past two decades Sri Lanka has proffered a mere two films to the Academy Awards. In the hopes of getting a prestigious Oscar nomination, The Road from Elephant Pass (2008) and Mansion By The Lake (2002) were submitted to the Best Foreign Language Film Category. Ten years later, Sri Lanka makes a daring comeback. Making history, ‘The Frozen Fire’ becomes the first Sri Lankan film to enter the mainstream category for‘Best Picture’, Oscars 2019.
The film itself, ‘The Frozen Fire’, directed by Anuruddha Jayasinghe, outlines the historic yet controversial re-telling of Wijeweera’s life and death, the founding leader of the JVP – both rebel and politician. The film encompasses Wijeweera’s release from jail and the conflicted twelve years that follow, allowing the audience to view the film from multiple viewpoints including that of his family and close associates. Ariyawansha Dhammage, scriptwriter, includes a tumultuous recount of the events, emphasizing on how their personal and political lives entwined to end only in anguish – to both themselves and those around them.
Produced by Chamathka Pieris (Cinepro Lanka International), the film’s preview screening took place last Tuesday at theNational Film Corporation of Sri Lanka. Cinepro, one of Sri Lanka’s leading production companies, has ambitious intentions to further promote this film to a global audience in the hopes of displaying the film industry’s growth.
To accomplish this, Cinepro is collaborating with an India-based Film Consultancy company, All Lights Film Services (ALFS). Founded by Sohan Roy (the Founder Director of the USD 10 billion Project Indywood), ALFS is a division of Aries Telecasting Private Limited and has, over the years, helped many filmmakers gain international exposure. They are well-reputed for their past campaigns managing Oscar nominations of over 14 Indian Films, including Ballad of Rustom, Kamasutra 3D, Pulimurugan etc.
Their past experience makes them a fitting choice for partnership in handling the Oscar contention of ‘The Frozen Fire’.AFLS remains appreciative of the initiative the nation’s film industry is showing in reaching global audiences, strongly believing international exposure to be vital to the growing industry’s success.
“It is a great privilege to be associated with the Sri Lankan film industry. The Frozen Fire is our first project from the island and we are extremely excited to take this unique project to the Oscars. Sri Lankan cinema has a lot to offer the global audiences and we hope to associate with more movie projects for the international awards arena,” said Nisha Joseph, Manager of ALFS and Artistic Director of All Lights India International Film Festival (ALIIFF)
The India/Sri Lanka collaboration is also regarded a priceless strengthening factor between the 2 cultures and ALFS hopes to influence other parties to make such decisions in producing more joint ventures in the future.
While many foreigners deem Sri Lanka a Cinematic Paradise for their film locations, Lanka’s own film industry growth with regards to international acclaim is questionable at best. Perhaps Cinepro’s ambitious goals and collaboration with ALFS will give the industry the much needed boost it needs to pursue international stature.