In light of the new announcement made by the National Film Corporation (NFC) about distribution of films handled by four private sector companies namely EAP, CEL, MPI and LFD to be vested back to National Film Corporation, a special meeting was held yesterday (21) at the Ruby Cinema Theatre premises in Maligawatte with the participation of large number of film theatre owners/managers in Sri Lanka, number of film producers and the representatives of EAP, CEL, MPI and LFD film circuits.
It was anonymously decided to form a new industry association compromise of key people from three sectors – private film distributors, film exhibitors and film producers to address the key issues of the film industry as a joint forum.
Accordingly a new forum namely ‘Lanka United Film Producers, Distributers & Exhibitors Association (LUFPD&EA)’ was formed and as the office bearers following prominent figures from the local film industry was selected and appointed:
Senior Advisor – Sunil Siriwardhana (LFD Film Circuit & Film Exhibitor)
Joint President – Sunil T. Fernando (MPI Film Circuit, Film Producer & Film Exhibitor) & Kasun Jayawardhane (EAP Film Circuit)
Convener – Arjun Kamalanath (MPI Film Circuit, Film Producer & Film Exhibitor)
Secretary – K. Wimaladasa (MPI Film Circuit)
Deputy Secretary – Dr. Arosha Fernando (MPI Film Circuit, Film Producer & Exhibitor)
Treasurer – G. R. Pathmaraj (CEL Film Circuit & Film Exhibitor)
The following 12 key stakeholders of the industry have been selected and appointed as the committee who represents the private film distributors, film exhibitors and film producers – Imitiaz Cader, Devapriya Abeysinghe, H.M. Hair Haren, Ananda Peiris, Gamini Ehaliyagoda, Rohan Pinnaduwa, R. Sadesh Kumar, Aravinda Weerakoon, Sunil Premaratne, L. Sankunaraja, Sunil Dharmasiri and Keerthi Weerasinghe.
At the end of the meeting, a press conference was held announcing about forming of the new joint industry forum for the film industry. It was highlighted that the newly formed association is expecting to meet up with the President Maithripala Sirisena, subject Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs) and the Chairman of the National Film Corporation (NFC) to discuss the way forward and key issues highlighted in the meeting held yesterday.
A letter also been signed by all the participants to be handed over to the President and the Minister in the meeting to be held in the coming days highlighting consequences to the film industry due to the recent decision made by the National Film Corporation without consulting any film industry experts.