Dhamitha Abeyratne
The Sulan Kirielle

by Sanjeevi Jayasuriya
i Lanka has produced artistes who have won international recognition. Another opportunity was missed recently when Damitha Abeyratne, who turned out an excellent performance playing the main role in the film "Sulang Kirillie" at the prestigious international film festival in Tokyo was one of the nominees for the best actress award but unfortunately she did not win the award.

Recalling that moment, she said after the announcement of the award to another actress, the judge who adjudicated said he was sorry that she could not win, but praised her for her role in the film.

"This is an unforgettable moment in my life as my acting was recognized at the highest level and I am grateful to Inoka Akki (Inoka Sathyanganie) for giving me the opportunity to perform the main role for the first time in my career", Damitha said.

Walking down memory lane, Damitha said she was involved in art from her childhood learning dancing and music at the "Kala Bhoomi" an institute for art under the guidance of Rohana Weerasinghe and Lakshman Wijesekara. With this background she entered the mini screen where she continues to do well.

Her maiden appearance was in a tele drama produced by Nalan Mendis "Passe Gena Manamali" with our veteran actress Geetha Kanthi Jayakody. Her first film was "Meeharaka" in the same year and from there onwards there was no looking back.

The number of tele dramas to her credit is a long list and that includes "Pata Sarungal", "Senehewanthayo", "Dandubasnamanaya", "Avidu Andura", "Nisala Diya Sasala Wiya" "Wikasitha Milinaya" and "Suwanda Obai Amme".

"I never dreamt of becoming an actress. I started nervously and gradually understood the art of performing, with support in the world of art and from my family.

The world of art is not as glamorous as it was and there is a lot of hardship to overcome to establish oneself. It is a world of fantasies where one has to tread carefully. I am happy for what I am today and will continue in my career.

Damitha is an award winning actress in both the mini screen and silver screen. Her roles in "Meeharaka" and "Dandubasnamanaya" were recognized and rewarded.

I have already contracted to act in another film by Inoka and two more tele dramas "Prakampana" and "Sakdev Doni" are on the pipe line", Damitha said.

The experience she gained by attending the Tokyo Film Festival will be of great benefit in the future. She had the opportunity to view over 45 international films and meet many reputed film personalities.

Damitha fondly remembered the support and the advice given her by the Queen of the Silver Screen Malini Fonseka. Her words are worth more than thousands of awards for me and I thank her for the encouragement given.

The country is blessed with plenty of talent what is lacking is utilizing them. It is of no use to blame anyone for the present situation in the film industry, the need of the hour is a genuine attempt to revive the industry. There is a ray of hope, the situation will improve and good quality films will be produced. Are we expecting too much or will the hope be materialized, the future will tell us.