The mystery, tension and excitement behind thrillers have become a magnetic force in attracting audience to theatres in masses for years. Alfred Hitchcock films mastered this art and productions from the 1960s Psycho to the more recent Shutter Island cast a spell of suspense, keeping movie buffs glued to their seats.
Sinhala Film Train to Kandy Crew
Script and direction: Udana Fonseka
Producers: Udana Fonseka and Ray Jay
Co- Producer: Nadeesha Hemamali
Director of photography and editor: Ray Jay
Composer: Mahesh Kay
Studio: Grindout Productions Ltd.
Now two young filmmakers, Udana Fonseka and Ray Jay, have gotten together to bring Train to Kandy, a crime and drama thriller to wow the local and international audience. Set in locations in Colombo and armed with a hard hitting plot about a murder case Train to Kandy comes as a joint production between the duo under their company Grindout Productions Ltd.
“I met Ray at a workshop conducted by Sammy Powell in 2004. We have made a couple of short films together before deciding to try our hand at making feature films. Our first movie was Chase. It was financed by New Zealand. Though we completed work on the project, the movie was shelved. Therefore we put our money into our second film,” Udana explained.
Train to Kandy is the third feature film in the world and the first in Asia where all the scenes were shot using a DSLR camera. “More and more filmmakers use this technology to shoot their productions but we are among the pioneers. Ray and I have a preference for thrillers.
We noticed that many Sri Lankan people go for such movies even though they might not understand the dialogs,” he said. Train to Kandy is about 24 year old prostitute named Jenny and a 14 year old runaway called Amanda. They try all means to escape from the clutches of a diabolic thug named Marlon because he suspects them of murdering his father.
Nadeesha Hemamali portrays Jenny while a new face, Deshani Pathirana, had taken on Amanda’s character. The movie introduces another youth, Kalana Gunasekara, to cinema.
“I have known Nadeesha for some time. She is an instinctive actress. She is able to get into the core of the character quickly. She also went along with the image we had in mind for Jenny. I came upon Deshani by chance while hunting for a flat to shoot in Colombo. It was a lucky find because she fitted into her role beautifully,” Udana said. He also added that working with Ray is a wonderful experience. The two have a great understanding and have collaborated well in past productions.
Ray had worked as an editor, cinematographer and visual effects artist since 2002. He co-directed, produced, cinematographed and edited The Ocean Was My Best Friend in 2004 and also co-produced, cinematographed and edited Hope. Both short films were based on the 2004 tsunami and were among the top 50 short films at the 2005 World Fest-Houston International Film Festival. They also made it to the finals to compete for the award for best cinematography.
Ray directed and produced The Corrupted, a 15 minute short film highlighting the drug world in Colombo. Since graduating from South Seas Film and Television School and Auckland University, Ray worked as an animator and visual effects artist for Med TV, New Zealand. Later he headed the post production unit of the television. He had worked on Star Wars: The < Clone Wars in Singapore, and is currently working on his solo directorial dâ€šbut, a science fiction, action thriller called Re-Entry. "It is a stand alone sequel to the British movie Monsters. It is a co-production with Britain and America," Udana noted. They hope to premiere Train to Kandy in Europe or North America this year.
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