Asoka Handagama’s latest film Me Mage Sandai (This is my moon) bagged the award for the best movie at the week-long third Cinemaya festival of Asian Cinema, held in New Delhi, Monday.
This Is My Moon is set against the backdrop of the ethnic conflict that has ravaged Sri Lanka over eighteen years and tainted the socio-political landscape of Sri Lanka.
Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN’s Special Rapporteur on violence against women, sees ‘This Is My Moon’ as a “disturbing movie”. “It disturbs our assumptions about war, about love, about life. It makes us come to terms with the absurdity, as well as the brutality of war. It is a brave, sensitive film,” she says.
Handagama, a young cinematographer with a mature and courageous approach has widened the horizons of the domestic cinema, which is struggling to survive. This is My Moon is the most controversial of all his works.
Dr. Lester James Pieris, Sri Lanka’s veteran film director identifies This Is My Moon as; “A film quite different from any other Sinhala film produced to date. It has a totally new concept. In my opinion, this film is the first of its kind and presented in a way that it has its own originality. Dialogues are rarely used and this young director has broken all traditional rules in film making in order to maintain the originality of his film.”
No dissolves. No fade-ins. No fade-outs. This film applies only the most primitive technique of shot joining, the cut. Handagama in his film uses the most fundamental way of framing, the static frame.
“ There’s no magic, no effects. It employs the simplest of techniques, a rhythmic flow of static images to maintain the tempo,” says Director Asoka Handagama of his award winning film.
This is My Moon has been selected as the opening film at the Paris Autumn Film Festival, France later this year. The film had already been honored with many other awards.
Tissa Abeysekera, Chairman, National Film Corporation says, “This is a daring film, which has the honesty, and the courage to face a controversial issue straight in the face with a cool clinical objectivity laced however with a deep humanism. THIS IS MY MOON is a cruel yet beautiful film.”
A five-member jury, consisting of noted film actress Sharmila Tagore, Iranian director Pouran Derakhshandeh, Georgian director Nana Djorjadze and Director of the Singapore International Film Festival, chose the award winning entries.
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