TV Times

Robin in mood to reminisce
By Chamintha Thilakaratne
Forty years ago, Robin Fernando was an insignificant actor trying his luck amongst the giants of the industry. But today, he is a master in dissecting action filled movies taking time out from training and directing.

At his house in Nawinna, Maharagama, Robin Fernando reminisces the good old days of action films. Swords, pistols, shot guns and bows and arrows in addition to the several awards won decorate his large living room. Pictures of his youthful days when he was an ardent horseman and gymnast are hung on the walls.

"It was Ariyaratne Kahawita who introduced me to the film industry. Titus Thotawatta was my 'guru'," said Robin.

Since then he has come a long way. "I have acted in some one hundred films and directed action in about another one hundred and twenty films," he proudly added.

Commenting on the film industry situation at present he said that "ours is a small industry and those involved struggle to survive. Action films are not produced as a result," he said.

Among the films that Robin Fernando directed are Hasthaveerayo, Sura Doothiyo, and Ninja Sri Lanka. They are all high action films involving plots of betrayal, crime and deception.

In emphasizing the importance of action directors, Robin feels that it gives professionalism to the action scene if it is well choreographed.

"In addition to less action films being shot, action scenes lack professionalism today because artistes are not sufficiently trained and scenes are unguided," he said.

Reminiscing the old favourites such as Alexander Fernando, Piyadasa Wijeykoon, Bandu Munasinghe, he pointed out the importance of being physically fit to do a stunt.

"Physical fitness is essential. Firstly because on screen one must appear capable and secondly because one needs stamina and energy to handle the requirements," he said,

Mr. Fernando was not happy the direction the industry is heading. He was of the view that only romances and comedies and heroes that come in such films are prioritized or looked upto. "Action artistes are as important. They play a greater role in films. Why are they never awarded or recognized," he questioned.

With no set budget and managing with poor salaries, many stunt artistes in Sri Lanka are left to mind their own safety. Robin Fernando is one artiste who is fighting for the rights of these people.

"This is an industry that requires upliftment. Professionals suffer a lot as a result of ignorance. People like myself who have experience and knowledge must be used to encourage and uplift the industry if it is to grow. I regret that I was an action director in Sri Lanka. My experience and opportunities available would have been much greater if I was overseas," he said in a tone of regret.

In concluding the interview he said he was willing to work for free if the film industry is willing to use his expertise to bring back and encourage action films in Sri Lanka.

'Swan Lake' at Russian Centre
The film version of famous Russian Ballet 'Swan Lake' will be screened at the Russian Centre in Colombo on August 31 at 5.30 p.m.

'Swan Lake' was a production of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The first production of the ballet was in Moscow, May 4 in 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre.

It is a story of a Princess, who is turned into a swan by an evil magician, where all her firends become swans too. Every midnight she and her friends become human again for a few hours. One midnight she is discovered by a Prince who falls madly in love with her and promises to rescue her.

There is a ball in the castle where Prince is meant to choose a bride. The magician's daughter enters as a black swan, looking exactly like the princess and prince is instantly drawn to her and he declares she will be his bride. The Princess then appears and sees what has happened and he recognised her too, and realizes he has broken his promise. She rushes off to the lake.

The ballet and film fans can be at the Russian Centre at Independence Avenue to view the rest of the story.

For more details of the film, contact Chandi on 685429/685440 between 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on week days.

'I'm not Gay' says Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys has denied that she's gay after the constant rumours surrounding her sexuality.

The Grammy Award winner said just because she wears trousers and no skirts and dresses doesn't make her gay. In fact she goes on to reveal she has been in a long term relationship with her boyfriend who she says is 6 years her senior

Watch MusicTV Nonstop on ETV

Asia-Pacific Robot Contest
A 'Robot Contest' among University students in the Asia-Pacific region will take place shortly in Japan. The event is organized by the Asia Broadcasting Union (ABU).

The Independent Television Network (ITN) as a member. of the ABU is to participate in the contest with a team of students selected from the University of Moratuwa representing Sri Lanka. Twenty teams from 19 countrues are going to take part in the Robocon 2002 competition which is to be held in Tokyo this month.

The theme of the contest, Robocon 2002, is "Reach for top Mount Fuji". A robot is to be used to climb the mountain. In the real contest, a model of Mount Fuji is built using tubes and the robot should fire plastic balls into the tubes within three minutes. The robot can be either manually controlled and fully automatic

According to the ABU newsletter, as many as 200 robots are being made for the contest and the number of students involved exceeds 3000. The process of preparing for the contest in Sri Lanka began a few months ago at the University of Moratuwa.

A team from the Department of Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa is making final preparations for the contest. The team known as "Chaturanga' consists of three final year students, Kasun Pieris, Ajith Vithana and Tharindu Dissanayake.

They will leave for Tokyo in mid August accompanied by Dr. Amith Munindradasa, Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering to take part in the competition

The ITN is working in close collaboration with the University of Moratuwa on this project which has been coordinated by Prof. (Mrs.) I.J. Dayawansa.

London recording Contract for Rohan J.Mr. David Whelton, the Managing Director of the London based Philharmonia Orchestra, was on a brief visit to Sri Lanka last week in order to sign a three-year recording contract (which covers the complete Bruckner Symphony cycle) with Sri Lankan born conductor Rohan Joseph. Whelton's stay was sponsored by the Hotel Lanka Oberoi. The picture shows Mr. Whelton and Mr. Rohan Joseph signing the said contract at the press conference held at the Oberoi.

Picture shows (Left to Right): Jonathan Wearn (Executive record producer UK), Mohan Tissanayagam (MD, International Distillers Lanka), David Whelton, Rohan Joseph and Stefan Pfeiffer (General Manager of the Lanka Oberoi).


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