Lanka Bandaranayake

Lanka Bandaranayake is hailed for the directing and scriptwriting for her film ‘Tradition’ of which her powerful conceptual narratives are unrelenting. The film’s splendid cinematography is not only esoteric, but stimulates the minds and senses of the viewer in line with its thematic significance. We recognize Lanka as one of ARTRA’s Emerging Artists | Best of 2020, for her extraordinary work in expertly navigating between conventional norms and contemporary standards that emanate society’s paradoxical practices. ‘Tradition’ is confronting in its storyline and has been screened at over 40 international film festivals including Cannes Corner in France, Vienna Shorts in Australia and Locarno Open Doors in Switzerland. The film has won several awards, both local and international including the Best Short Film at the 12th Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival 2017 in Indonesia.

Lanka obtained her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Kelaniya in 2016 and followed a certificate course in Introduction to Aesthetics and Technics of Cinema in 2019 conducted by Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata. Lanka Bandaranayake has received multiple awards for her directorial approaches as well as for her work in theatre as an actress and a costume designer. Lanka has worked under renowned Sri Lankan directors and has acted in over 25 theatre productions of which her multifaceted skillset has brought her both local and international acclaim.

“The film ‘Tradition’ is about relationships in the modern day and age,” explained Lanka. The film follows the storyline that addresses the contrast between traditional and contemporary norms of which the plot portrays a woman and the story of her chastity. With a brilliant cast that consist of esteemed and renowned actress Iranganie Serasinghe and actress Kalum Gamlath, the story line is intriguing in its ability to capture the perfect balance between what was and what is. The audience witnesses the downfalls the protagonist faces upon the point at which she receives blessings prior to her wedding, as she adorns the traditional jewellery with Iranganie Serasinghe narrating a woman’s responsibilities to her family and herself. 

The intriguing balance of conflicting traditional and contemporary conventions is neatly showcased through picturesque depictions throughout the film. The scenes are confronting in its execution and probes critical questions on social contexts such as the role of a woman beyond that of which tradition has placed upon her. The viewer is then made to question the principals and morals of not only traditional values but also that of the modern. The themes and subject matters discussed are those that Lanka has an inherent interest, she mentioned, as she always wanted to challenge patriarchal archetypes and stereotypical views. “I feel closer to social issues, particularly that of pertaining to the questions on women. The literary works of Virginia Woolf inspired me to dig deeper and explore the parameters of patriarchy’s indignant impact upon societal growth and development” she explained.

“My career began as a young actress in 1998 in the film industry and thereafter to a costume designer. In fact my acting experiences helped me a lot in my role as a costume designer as it helped me approach costumes, as an auxiliary element, corresponding in the development of characters. When I started directing short films, with my past experience, I was confident in developing characters and guiding actors. Above all, I was aware as to how I could collaborate effectively with a cast and crew as a team, while leading and guiding them to deliver the final output within the given time-frame“ said Lanka. The artist’s multifaceted skillset are symbiotic in subsisting as they contribute to her powerful plays and film-making style. 

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12th December, 2020 Visual Art | Digital Art