‘Ira Handa Yata’ (Beneath the Sun and Moon), a Sinhala film directed by Bennet Ratnayake has won a special Jury Honorary award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
This Sinhala film earlier represented Sri Lanka at the 23rd Singapore International Film Festival in the competitive section and was recommended for a special award. ‘Ira Handa Yata’ has been selected to represent Sri Lanka at the Pyongyang International Film Festival to be held in Korea as well.
The story is based on chance meeting of a soldier and an army officer at a night during the battles between the Sri Lankan Army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The soldier’s efforts to save the life of his critically wounded senior officer prove futile.
A conscience of guilt that the soldier too was responsible for he senior officer’s death makes him probe the officer’s past life. Along his way in this probe, he comes up with a series of obstacles and finally emerges successful in correcting a number of the past wrongs of his senior officer and ends up by bringing justice to his dead senior officer.
While the film was made in 2009 in Sinhala, English subtitles were added for international screenings. A Tamil dubbed version too is on the cards.
The technical staff is Priyantha Dissanayake as make-up artist, Sujeewa Gunaratne as art director, Kumara Karawdeniya as costume designer, Nadeeka Guruge as music director.
Cinematographer - Kalinga Deshappriya, Ranjan Prasanna - assistant director, Priyantha Kithalagama and Anura Gambeera Arachchi - production management.
The cast includes Mahendra Perera, Palitha Silva, Chandani Seneviratne, Roger Seneviratne, Kaushalya Fernando, Damitha Abeyratne, Bimal Jayakody, Udara Rathnayake, Saumya Liyanage, Swineetha Weerasinghe, Veena Jayakody, Jagath Benaragama, Suminda Sirisena, Rangana Premaratne, Ajith Lokuge, Bennett Ratnayke, Sathischandra Edirisinghe, Kumara Thirimadura, Baghya Ratnayake, Nadaraja Sivam, Samanmalee Hewamanne, Dee. Ga. Somapala, Sampath Jayaweera, Darshan Dharmaraj and newcomers Sheryl Becker and Dharshani Tasha.
The film is jointly scripted by Bennett Ratnayake and Sarath Gamlath and produced by Samanmalee Hewamanne, Oliver Fernando, Ruwan Jayasinghe, Vijitha Herath (UK) and Dilan Fernando.
The film was shot in Thoppigala and other locations in and around Batticaloa, Welikanda, Kalpitya, Udappuwa and Dambulla.