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Dharmasena Pathiraja

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Name  Dharmasena Pathiraja

Role  Film director
Dharmasena Pathiraja DrDharmasena Pathiraja Member Director39s Guild of Sri

Born  28 March 1943 (age 72) (1943-03-28) Kandy, Sri Lanka
Alma mater  Dharmaraja College, Kandy, University of Peradeniya, Monash University
Occupation  University Professor , Film Maker
Movies  Bambaru Avith, Ahas Gauwa, How to Be an Adult
Education  University of Peradeniya, Dharmaraja College, Monash University
Similar People  Malini Fonseka, Vijaya Kumaranatunga, Wimal Kumara De Costa, Cyril Wickramage, Amarasiri Kalansuriya

6th biffes 2013 film critic lalit rao interviews dharmasena pathiraja sri lankan director

Dharmasena Pathiraja (born 28 March 1943) is a Sri Lankan film director and screenwriter.


Dharmasena Pathiraja httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

Early life

Dharmasena Pathiraja Dharmasena Pathiraja

Educated at Dharmaraja College, Kandy, Pathiraja graduated from the University of Peradeniya with an honours degree in Sinhala and Western Classical Culture in 1967. Subsequently he began work as a lecturer in Drama and Performance Arts. and later obtained a PhD in Bengali cinema from Monash University.His Thesis is The Dialectic of Region and Nation in the Films of Bengali Independents: Ghatak, Ray and Sen(2001) .He learnt the language of cinema from the film society movement which was very popular in Sri Lanka in early sixties. He also recognized their socio-political limitations in a country which was heading for a period of deep turmoil. He also studied the cinema of radical activists like Jean-Luc Godard, Third Cinema filmmakers like Fernando Solanas and Glauber Rocha, and Asians like Mrinal Sen, Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak.

First wave of success (1970–1977)

Dharmasena Pathiraja Dharmasena Pathiraja YouTube

Pathiraja made a short 10-minute film titled Saturo in 1970. His full-length feature film Ahas Gauwa followed four years later. Dealing with the urban lower class, the film was atypical of most commercial films of that period. It was critically well-received, sweeping the FCJAC Awards landing Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor and winning the Office Catholique Internationale Du Cinema (Sri Lanka) awards for Best Film and Best Director.

1975's Eya Dan Loku Lamayek was Sri Lanka's entry at the 9th Moscow International Film Festival, winning a Special Diploma for Female Performance in 1976 and the Special award from the peace council of the USSR to be screened at the 18th Venice Film Festival in Bergamo, Italy in 1975.

1978's Bambaru Avith is widely considered Pathiraja's masterpiece. That year it represented Sri Lanka at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival and was screened at the Venice and Los Angeles Film Festivals. In Sri Lanka it was awarded Best Director and Best Film honors at the first Presidential Film Awards and the OCIC Awards. In 1997 a special council selected to celebrate 50 years of Sri Lankan Cinema named it the fourth best Sri Lankan film of all-time.

Middle period (1977–1981)

Later that year, Pathiraja made the Tamil film Ponmani shown at the International Film Festival in India. 1980 saw the filming of Para Dige which was shown some time later at UCLA in the Third World Cinema Program and in France and Melbourne.

1981's Soldadu Unnahe would be Pathiraja's last film for 13 years. It was Sri Lanka's entry to the 8th International Film Festival of India and was awarded Best Film, Best Director and best Script at the third Presidential Film Awards and Best Director and Best Film at the OCIC Awards. OCIC named it the best Sri Lankan film of the 1980 –1990 period in 1990.

Return to film (1994–2002)

1994's Wasuli was a relatively minor film. In 2001 Pathrija returned on a bigger scale with Mathu Yam Dawasa shown at the Singapore International Film Festival and the 4th Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, New Delhi.

Academic career

Dharmasena Pathiraja started his academic career at the University of Kelaniya as an assistant lecturer. Later he worked as a lecturer in several Sri Lankan universities, including, University of Jaffna, University of Ruhuna and University of Colombo. At present Dharmasena Pathiraja is the Chairman of Sri Lanka Media Training Institute.


  • 1971 Kora saha Andaya (The Lame and the Blind) script Produced by Dhamma Jagoda
  • Putu (The Chairs of Eugène Ionesco) Translator and Producer
  • Features

  • 2014 Sakkarang[Colour]
  • 2014 Metamorphosis (Swaroopa)[Colour]
  • 2001 Some Day In The Future (Mathu Yam Davasa) [Colour]
  • 1994 Whirl Wind (Vasuli) [Colour]
  • 1981 Old Soldier (Soldadu Unnehe) [B&W]
  • 1980 On The Run (Paradige) [B&W]
  • 1978 The Wasps Are Here (Bambaru Avith) [B&W]
  • 1978 Ponmani [B&W]
  • 1975 How to Be an Adult (Eya Den Loku Lamayek) [B&W]
  • 1974 One League Of Sky (Ahas Gawwa) [B&W]
  • Shorts and Documentaries

  • 2006 In Search of a Road[Colour]
  • 1988 Shelter For Million Families -A 15 mts documentary produced to commemorate the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, Screened at ST. Anne's Theatre, London on the occasion of the ceremonial award presentation for the best housing program of the year won by Sri Lanka. 1988. (35mm Colour)
  • 1984 Putting The Last First-A documentary on local level community based projects for NORAD (35 mm Colour)
  • 1983 Shelton Haa Kanthi
  • 1974 The Coast (Werala) A 30 mts documentary on coast conservation for the Ministry of Fisheries, 1974. ( 35 mm Colour)
  • 1972 Anduren Eliyata-From Darkness to Light,A 40 mts documentary on Land Reforms, produced for the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reforms. 1972 (35mm -Black and White)
  • 1969 Enemies (Sathuro) [B&W]
  • Unfinished Film

  • 1983 Vasuli [Colour]
  • Television dramas(series)

  • 2009 Kampithavil
  • 1996 Durganthaya-34 (26mts) episodes, Tele Drama, An adaptation of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
  • 1994 Nadunana Puttu-Unknown Sons,21 (26mts) episodes, Tele Drama, for ITN
  • 1993 Suba Anagathyak-16 (26mts) episodes, Tele Drama, An Adaptation of Charles Dicken's Great Expectations for National TV
  • 1992 Kadulla-The Hurdle-21 (26 mts) episodes, Tele Drama, Won 9 UNDA international awards (Sri Lanka Office) Including Best TV Feature, Best Director, Best Script, Best Male and Female Performances, of the year 1992
  • 1989 Pura Sakmana-2 (45mts) episodes Tele Drama, An adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Lady with the Dog for National TV
  • 1989 Sudubandelage Kathawa-Story of Sudu Banda,2 (30mts) episodes Tele docu-drama
  • 1989 Wanni Hamilage Kathawa -Story Of Wannihamy,4 (27mts) episodes, Tele docu drama
  • 1988 Ella langa Walawwa -The House By the Waterfall. 1988,14 (27mts) episodes, Tele Drama for the National TV
  • 1986 Maaya Mandira -Mansion of Maya. 1986, 27mts.Tele feature For National TV.
  • 1985 Gangulen Egodata-Crossing the Stream
  • References

    Dharmasena Pathiraja Wikipedia