“Fifty-seven civilians were massacred by the LTTE during the affair. I heard the news when I was at sea and attached to the navy. I was haunted by the fact why the home guards were not able to protect the citizens from the attack. Ironically, a couple of years after the incident I was put in charge of the Civil Defense Force (CDF),” related the battle-hardened individual who became the highest-ranked serviceman to take to the director’s seat.
“It projects the true nature of the episode to the local and international public. The past cannot be dismissed with just a flick of an eye. There is a moral lesson to be learnt through the incident and that is what the director strives to bring out through the movie. We see that the properly trained home guards try to protect the villagers from terrorism without even thinking about their lives. It highlights the fact that though they are military officers, they too are human and possess humane qualities,” he opined on his overall view of the film.
Sinhala Film Gamini Cast:
Sampath Chaminda Jayaweera
Geetha Kanthi Jayakody
Director: Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara
Producer: Upali Rajapakse
Cameraman: Saman Sigera
Editor: Ravindra Guruge
Assistant Director: Asoka Athaudahetti
Art Director: Sunil Wijeratne
Production Manager: Palitha Tennakoon
Music: Nadeeka Guruge
Make-up Artist: Priyantha Dissanayake
Costume Designer: Sanjeewa Karunaratne
First Assistant Director: Ravindra Thanthirige
Second Assistant Director: Vernon Abeysinghe
Still Photography: Dammika Pathiratne
Hair Dresser: Thushara Vidhanagamage
Sound Recording: Sujith Perera
A first film to be directed by a serviceman, Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara, ‘Gamani’ is now being shot at location in and around Karuwalagaswewa.
‘We have done 12 days of shooting and it is going strictly according to schedule’ said Rear Admiral Weerasekara sharing his experience on the maiden venture in cinema said.
Woven around the development of Civil Defence Force (CDF) the film narrates how the newly recruited security officers defend their village tactfully against an organised attack by the LTTE.
Being the Director General of CDF, the subject matter is heart to Admiral Weerasekara. ‘The aim of the film is to promote the newly introduced CDF which was an enormous support to the Police Department specially in the boarder villages during the war’.
The film is produced by Upali Rajapaksa with a team of top class artistes joining in the art department. Among them are Saman Sigera as the cinematographer, Ravindra Guruge editor, Sunil Wijeratne art director, music Nadeeka Guruge, Ashoka Athawudahetti as the assistant director and Suresh Indika serves as make-up artist.
‘Gamani’ unfolds in a border village in Ampara which is constantly attacked by the terrorists. On a night when a pirith was held for a dead child in the village, the terrorists plan a massacre. And when the villagers are returning to their homes, a brutal attack is carried out and most of them are murdered.
Following morning a platoon of the army comes and attends to the dead. A young female teacher who comes to the village with a new appointment places the responsibility of mass murder on the Army and their leader a Major. But the Army Major who is angered by the allegation leaves the scene.
Subsequently the teacher meets the Major once again to request that Gramarakshaka in the village be given a proper training but this too was turned down. However the determined teacher together with the chief incumbent of the temple prepare a team to defend the village from terrorist attack. Impressed by the courage of the young teacher, the Army Major too supports their endeavour.
On one full moon day the terrorists once again attack the village and this time it is a different story to their past experiences. Screenplay written and directed by Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara
The cast with some of the experienced actors and actresses includes W. Jayasiri, Dilhani Ekanayake, Sanath Gunatilake, Suminda Sirisena, Bimal Jayakosy, Mahendra Perera, Chandrasoma Binduhewa, Lakshman Mendis, Saranapala Jayasuriya, Veena Jayakody, Damitha Abeyratne, Sarath Kotalawela, Jayani Senanayake, Puthu Tharanga, Kumara Thirumadura, Anurudhdhika Padukkage, Raja Ganeshan, Gihan Fernando, Dharshan Dharmaraj, Ranjith Rubasinghe and many others.
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