ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 38

Asitha’s achievement won’t be erased

Young film-maker Asitha Ameresekere did Sri Lanka proud last Sunday when he won the Best Short Film award at the BAFTAs, the prestigious British Film Academy awards with his film ‘Do Not Erase’.

‘It’s heavy,” he commented smilingly, on being handed the BAFTA at a glittering ceremony held on February 11 at the Royal Opera House in London. The BAFTAs, known officially as the Orange British Academy Film Awards are widely perceived as the forerunner to the Oscars.

Asitha with his award

The first Sri Lankan film-maker to win a BAFTA, Asitha who was born in the UK to Lankan parents, won warm applause from the celebrity audience as he ended his short acceptance speech with a reference to the island. “As we say in Sri Lanka, ‘bohoma isthuthi’- thank you very much,” he said.

“We made this little film with practically nothing, but it doesn’t really matter because as you probably know, if you love a story and it moves you, you can work miracles. And that’s exactly what my cast and crew did,” he said.

Thanking the film’s main actress Jeanette Rourke and his parents, he also made mention of his fellow nominees ‘for keeping short films so very alive’.

“Do Not Erase’ which was written in just two days, shot in three and edited in two, tells the story of a suburban housewife in Northern England who sends video diaries to her young son, a soldier in Iraq. The film was written, directed and produced by Asitha, an achievement the star of the film, Jeanette Rourke who accompanied him on stage, told the audience repeatedly was ‘extraordinary’. “I got the extraordinary opportunity to play Annie in this marvelous, marvelous film which is made entirely independently. It was directed by Asitha, it was written by Asitha and it was funded by Asitha. And look he’s gone and got himself a BAFTA. How extraordinary is that,” she said thoroughly elated.

“For many young directors, the short film is when they first make their mark on the industry, defining their style and taking the first step in their career,” said actress Naomi Harris, best known for her role in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean- Dead Man’s Chest’ and who was one of the co-presenters of the award.

‘Do Not Erase’ beat four others on the shortlist for the award - ‘Care’, ‘Cubs’, ‘Hikikomori’ and ‘Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored’.
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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.