The Galle Film Festival Gala will be showing a diverse range of film, from contemporary cinema to the cult classics. The films are arranged in three sections – The Main Events, Fringe Films, and Sri Lankan Classics.
The Main Events
Adam Resurrected / Paul Schrader
Holocaust Survivor, Adam Stein, grapples with madness and despair in an Israeli asylum.
Colours of Passion / Ketan Mehta
Artist Raja Ravi Varma is embroiled in controversy when he paints semi-nude goddesses. A luscious film about art and passion.
The Hustler / Robert Rossen
Paul Newman stars in this classic as an up-and-coming pool player who plays a long-time champion in a single high-stakes match.
Cool Hand Luke / Stuart Rosenberg
A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison. Starring Paul Newman.
Elephant Walk / William Dieterle
The young bride of a rich planter finds herself the only white woman at Elephant Walk tea plantation, British Ceylon.
Sri Lankan Classics
BADDEGAMA, Village in the Jungle (1980) dir. Lester James Peries.
Based on the book by Leonard Woolf, a man named Silindu lives in the jungle and resists fate at every turn.
He is an excellent hunter and has a skill of movement that exceeds those of the animals. However, Silindu catches a terrible disease thought to be an evil spell because he didn't allow his daughter Hinnihami to marry a man from Vederala.
No matter how much he tries to cure himself, it’s not possible, unless he willingly lets his daughter marry her lover.
IRA MADIYAMA, August Sun, (2003) dir. Prasanna Vithanage
Three cross-sections of Sri Lankan Society are exposed via separate storylines.
First, Chamari hitches a ride with reporter Saman to find news of her missing soldier husband; another follows a Muslim family forced out of its village by Tamil forces; and a third shows the efforts of Duminda, a Sinhala war hero, to trace his missing sister, Kamani.
MUSIC GARDEN (2004) dir. Samy Pavel
THUNVENI YAMAYA, Third Part of the Night (1983) dir. Dharmasiri Bandaranayeke
Known as the film that changed the course of contemporary artistic cinema is Sri Lanka, Thunveni Yamaya is a tale of lost childhood innocence and its’ repercussions.
It’s a cathartic course through a young man’s life reliving events and tragedies that affect all his family and those around him.
SAKMAN MALUWA, The Garden (2003) dir. Sumithra Peries
'The Garden' sensitively depicts a marital relationship in which a surface contentment masks the essential separateness of the partners. Tissa and Prema are also relatives and significantly differ in age. The Garden, which is one of Tissa's keen preoccupations, is the setting of the drama to follow.
TANI TATUWEN PIYABANNA, Flying with one wing. (2002) dir. Asoka Handagama
In order to avoid gender discrimination prevalent in Sri Lanka, a woman decides to pass as a man and gets a job as a mechanic and even takes a wife.
When the secret is discovered her life of guarded concealment is painfully assaulted and she is forced to confront the sexism, homophobia, and confusion exhibited by those she had previously trusted.
In 2002 Tani Tatuwen Piyabanna won the Asian Film Award.
SOORIYA ARANA, Fire Fighters (2004) dir. Somaratne Dissanayake
The highest grossing Sri Lankan film of all time and winner of 10 Presidential Film Awards, Sediris is a tale of unlikely friendships and understandings.
A dishonest hunter takes his young son to the jungle to teach him his trade and there they meet a monk and his young disciple who will change their lives forever.
Questions of morality, ethics and companionship are raised and are pieced together with Buddhist teachings and themes.
SULANGA ENU PINISA, The Forsaken Land (2005) dir. Vimukthi Jayasundara
Winner of the 2005 Cannes d’Or award, Sulanga Enu Pinisa is a visually dazzling, near dialogue-free exploration of precious human triumphs in a setting on-going civil war in Sri Lanka.
First-time director Vimukthi Jayasundara has a painter’s flair for landscapes and elegantly portrays a war-torn community dealing with the daily rigors of life.