ABA the legend of the royal dynasty begins...

CINEMA: A problem has arisen about the pedigree of the dynasty since even the Mahawansa does not answer the problem of who Pandukabhaya’s father was. The film Aba is an effort by Jackson Anthony to find an acceptable answer through a cinematic way. In order to find an answer to the genetic problem, the legend of the Great Royal Dynasty of the Ruhuna has come out in the form of an historic film.

“We shall be attempting to provide a cinematic insight into the perennial question that has relentlessly plagued the Mahawansa, the great historic chronicle of Sri Lanka. In this endeavour, we shall strive to reawaken the origins of the illustrious Royal Dynasty of the Ruhuna, which is shrouded in mystery and has been a subject of great debate and controversy. As is fashionable among some academic and scholarly circle, it is inappropriate to consider as myths, the stories or legends revealing the birth of a nation, be they orally carried or recorded. The enduring historic and human relationship ingrained in those legends, tales or stories, have a timeless and universal value. We are strongly persuaded to believe that our cinematic effect to bring forth this exposition involving an epochal event, birth and the childhood of Pandukabhaya that occurred about 2300 years ago in the history of this nation – will help instill a good measure of positive thinking into our present day society whose consciousness has been unremittingly ravaged by centuries of colonial bondage and such other disconcerting experiences” Jackson Anthony pointed out.

Although the Sri Lankan film industry has already marked its 50th year, there are only six films out of the 1062 films from the very first film Kadavunu Poronduwa to Sankara which reveal our great history.

It is interesting to know that no other historic film has been produced after Weera Madduma Bandara screened in 1984 until Aba commenced. Al these six films have a tragic end. Aba is an exception.

Justin Belagamage and Rajindra Jayasinghe, both chartered accountants, co-produce the mega movie Aba for Mandakini Creations. Aba is the first-ever movie undertaken in Sri Lanka by a team of chartered accountants whose profession and life philosophy are customarily believed to be unexciting and dull. The producers expect Aba to become a landmark and momentous production in the history of Sri Lankan cinema for its sheer magnitude in scale, choice of technology and methods used and its extraordinary cinematic quality.

“Being the co-producers we believe that Aba will be case study in the film industry and it will pave the way to upcoming good productions in the future” Justin Belagamage said. “As accountants we are engaged in ‘numbers’ throughout the day. Hence we drew our attention to another field while we had a little leisure. Fortunately, I came to know that Jackson has been looking for a producer for a long period for his new film which carries a historic theme. Then we met Jackson and discussed and finally we decided to produce Aba. If we couldn’t get the contribution of Jackson we would never produce Aba” Belagamage said.

Considering the public view of the film industry that it is not profitable, we were compelled to ask Rajindra Jayasinghe the reason for him to decide to produce Aba.

“You see, in the competitive world there are many fields to invest money rather than investing money in film industry. But we believe that a good film production may be profitable” Rajindra replied.

For the first time in Sri Lanka’s film industry, a computer program has been used for budget management process of Aba. “We would like to share this computer program with other film producers in our country. As we want to develop the industry, we would like to offer the program free’” Justin Belagamage said.

We entered the palace of Price Aba built at Ardigala ancient temple premises at Angamuwa in Rajanganaya. In fact the keen film crew constructed a palace worth watching. Jackson had been travelling all over the island searching for an appropriate location for a long time. Finally we were lucky to have this ideal place for the film where it has natural security needs for a palace such as rock caves and water pools” Jackson said.

Daily News 25 Jul 2007