Mar 27 2014. view 885
Sachi Ediriweera is a young Sri Lankan designer and filmmaker, whose second short film is set to premier at the Clujshorts Int'l Film festival in the last week of March this year. The film, a fantasy drama, is titled ‘Wildings Within’ and features the acting talents of Ruvin De Silva, Yashodha Suriyapperuma and the music of Ranga Dasanayake.
The film revolves around a young boy who is part of a tribe that hunts goblin like beasts. In an effort to prove himself to the elders of his tribe, he wishes to capture one himself. “But the film lets the viewer question, who should be most feared, man or beast. As in, appearances deceive us, we are ultimately capable of evil just as any beast.” Sachi says.
Sachi has loved films since he was quite young, and thanks his parents for the movies they made him watch. Growing up, his favourite films were along the lines of ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Lion King’. His love of ‘The Matrix’ especially moved him to discover how films were made, which inspired him to make movies himself, a journey he has shared with Iroshan Kulathunga. Later, finding himself on the set of a music video, he realised that the resources of Sri Lanka were actually sufficient to make films. “It's a great time to be a filmmaker now.” He enthuses, “Lots of cameras, for different budgets, all one needs is the aspiration to get it done.”
Thus a year later he had a script ready, and was all set to make his first short film. ‘A Small Miracle’, was a war drama that focused on innocence amidst the chaos of war. It was picked up by Shorts Intl, the significance of which he didn’t realise until later. This achievement excited him, and he says that being “connected to more filmmakers pushed me to make better work.” Unfortunately this also meant that he couldn’t share his film online for 7 years, and this pushed him to make Wildings Within “I was adamant from the start that I wouldn't take any deals with this and will release it online.”
Thus he now finds himself with ‘Filmbox’, his production company. Sachi writes the stories first, believing that that is how it should be for any medium. Then he garners constructive criticism from trusted friends. Finally Nuwan Attanayaka, who is production manager, works on the schedule and casting while Sachi focuses on all production design aspects. “Once the date is set, we go out rolling.”
Sachi’s art is well rooted in Sri Lanka, his designs and films modernising and addressing the culture of the country, such as his illustration of the urban yaka and his illustration titled ‘Ekvata’ that was the winning design of UN Sri Lanka's digital art competition. This fusion makes his work not just beautiful, but also personal to us Sri Lankans. “Much of my art is heavily influenced by Sri Lankan culture, I guess it’s just my way of carrying on the legacy left to us by thousands of artists before me. I am quite in love with Sri Lankan arts.”
His advice to artists is to “Work hard, stay humble. Watch movies. Hollywood, European, whatever, surprise yourself. Learn from them and study them.” His own future holds exciting projects. “I plan to do series of blog posts about the making of Wildings Within, technical details and stuff, how it was made, the challenges etc.” His third short film will be out later this year, and he promises an exciting action Sci Fi film that will delight any geek. The theme will centre on identity. As an artist, he wants to “make some more good art, reach markets internationally and be a part of interesting projects that would excite me and those working with me.”
‘Wildings Within’ will be released online on the 30th of March, and can be viewed by visiting his production company website, www.filmbox.lk or the Filmbox Facebook page.
By Marissa van Eyck