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This year’s event under theme of ‘Love’
Raigam Tele Awards offer big boost to Sri Lanka’s tele-drama industry – Dr. Ravi Liyanage

The sixth successive Raigam Tele Awards Night will be held under the theme "Love" on May 7, 2010 at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) in Colombo.

"As Love has been the recurring theme for our tele-dramas, we have opted for this romantic topic this year", says Dr. Ravi Liyanage, Chairman of Raigam.

Tele-dramas telecast in 2009 over television channels, excluding cable TV and paid channels in Sri Lanka, will be considered for awards at this ceremony, he said. "Tele-productions not exceeding 100 episodes telecast daily or weekly, will be evaluated".

"We are now in the process of receiving entries for evaluation", Dr. Liyanage told a news conference at the Galle Face Hotel last week.

The deadline for submitting entries is February 20, he explained. "Mega tele-dramas, which generated so much of interest amongst viewers, will be considered for the popular segment".

The selection of the most popular tele-drama actor, actress, tele-drama as well as the mega tele-drama will be based on votes from viewers, the Chairman said.

"Voting will begin on April 1, 2010 and viewers can SMS their preferences to the dedicated mobile number 0773-337337 up to 12 midnight on May 5", Dr. Liyanage said.

He said that two tickets for the awards night will be presented to participants who name the winners. "This will encourage greater participation in the event".

"This awards ceremony is being sponsored by Raigam as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the advancement of the tele-drama industry", said Ganaka Amarasinghe, Managing Director.

Dr. Liyanage said that on an average there are about 85 tele-dramas produced per annum in Sri Lanka with the involvement of around 10,000 artistes, production, technical and support personnel.

"As an indigenous company, Raigam considers giving a boost to this industry as its bounden duty", he stressed. "This is an industry which belongs to Sri Lanka – it’s one of our own".

"We have been able to make a positive impact on the tele-drama industry with our previous five award ceremonies", Amarasinghe pointed out. "We look forward to making this year’s sixth successive event also a memorable one".

A special feature of the ceremony will be the conferring of awards on personalities and institutions which have contributed significantly towards the advancement of the television and tele-drama industry, the Managing Director said.

"There will also be an honorary presentation of a special lifetime achievement award to an outstanding film personality", he stressed.

At last year’s ceremony, veteran filmmaker and television artiste Titus Totawatte was felicitated and presented the special lifetime achievement award. Experienced actress Iranganie Serasinghe was also honoured for her long contribution to the medium of mini-screen.

Asked why Tamil tele-dramas have not been included to qualify for awards, Dr. Liyanage said the biggest impediment is finding the required panel to judge these productions.

"We will certainly give thought to this idea", he assured. "We will try our best to draw in Tamil tele-productions also for evaluation next time".

Among the top winners at the 2008 Raigam Tele Awards were veteran actor Janak Premalal, Best Actor for his role in ‘Karuwala Gedara’ and Nilmini Tennekoon, Best Actresses. The Most Popular Actor was Amila Abeysekara and Nehara Peiris, the Most Popular Actress.

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