winning filmmaking duo Somaratne Dissanayake and Renuka
Balasuriya’s latest cinematic venture,
‘Bindu’ is next on line to be screened at the EAP
circuit. The story centres on the issue of the elephant -
human conflict, a problem which had been in the news for more
than three decades.
Shot on location at Sigiriya,
the story focuses on a touching tale of a relationship
between Bindu, a young calf elephant, and two children.
Keeping with their tradition of introducing young talent to
the screen, Somaratne and Renuka have brought two child
actors to cinema.
Sachin Chathuranga, the younger
brother of Dasun Madusanka who played the lead roles in
‘Samanala Thatu’ and ‘Sooriya Arana’,
portrays the role of Muthu while Ruvindika Ishadini takes on
the character of Malee.
“These children were
chosen after a series of interviews. We received around 3000
applications and 50 children who were chosen during the
interviews took part in a workshop. We made our choice after
observing their talents after the training sessions,”
Dissanayake told Sunday Observer ‘Magazine’.
“Human-elephant conflicts had constantly been in the
news. It is not a problem for those in the city but it had
become a menace for villagers living near the elephant
infested jungles. They live in fear for their crop as well as
their lives,” he stressed. It had taken two years for
the director to track down the suitable elephant for
Bindu’s role. Finally the search had come to a close in
An elephant trainer had to be
summoned from India to train the baby tusker.
‘Bindu’ is probably my most challenging
project for I had to work with elephants in a majority of the
scenes. It is tough shooting from different angles when you
are directing animals,” he said adding that though he
had used some animals in a couple of clips in ‘Sooriya
Arana’ nothing had prepared him for the amount of hard
work that had to be put up with while shooting
Queried if he markets
children’s movies as a means of earning profit, the
award-winning director said, “I do not focus on how
much money I would earn when I think of embarking on a
project. However my films have been crowd-pullers and have
earned their share of profit. If someone claims that I use
children in key roles to make profit, their accusations are
made purely out of jealousy. I concentrate on sending a
meaningful message to society,” he stressed. However he
revealed that his next project is not children oriented.
Jayalath Manoratne, Kumara Thirimadura, Jayani
Senanayake, Athula Liyanage and a few others comprise the
rest of the cast. Award winning actor of the stage play
‘Charandas’, Jayantha Muthuthanthri, debuts
through ‘Bindu’. The script is by Dissanayake and
the cameraman is Suminda Weerasuriya. Rohana Weerasinghe did
the music scores for a song sung by a group of children led
by Madugeeth Dissanayake. The art director is Sunil Wijeratne
while the make up is done by Ebert Wijesinghe. The assistant
director is Duminda Madawala. Renuka Balasuriya is the
production manager and producer.
‘Bindu’ will enter the theatres after