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Last updated: 13 September, 2007 - Published 15:08 GMT
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'Sankara' for London Film Festival
Award winning Srilankan film Sankara directed by Prasanna Jayakody will be screened at the forthcoming London Film Festival.

Prasanna is among the young directers who had come in to international attention in the recent years. Jayakody's maiden effort as director, Sankara won the prestigious Silver Pyramid at the last Cairo Film Festival.

Film Director Prasanna Jayakody

Sankara also won the award for the best Asian film at Kerala film festival in India. Prasanna Jayakody was also named as the best debut director at the festival.

"I feel honoured to take part in the London Film Festival with my first film. London is one of the major festivals in the world", Prasanna Jayakody told the BBC.

Story of a Buddhist monk

“I have heard a lot about the London Film Festival. It is a well known festival in Sri Lanka. I am really looking forward to the screenings in London”.

Sachini Ayendra Stanley and Nilupa Heenkendaarachchi in sankara

The film will be screened twice during the festival.

In the story, Young Buddhist monk Ananda, arrives at a temple in order to restore its paintings. These paintings depict Thelapaththa Jathakaya, a moral story where Lord Buddha said that a man with a big target in life must not be swayed by passion (Keles), the five senses and especially beautiful women.

One day, Ananda picks up a hair pin belonging to a young woman. While attempting to return this object to its owner, his repressed feelings are awoken by the beauty and sensuality of the woman.

The young monk's inner spiritual world is plunged into turmoil. Then one day the paintings are destroyed. While restoring them for the second time Ananda begins to realize that he is trapped in a web of his worldly desires and attachments.

Thumindu Dodantenna as the young monk
Thumindu Dodantenna as the young monk in Sankara

Thumindhu Dodantenne portrays the character of the young monk and Sachini Ayendra Stanley, K.A. Milton Perera, Nilupa Heenkendaarachchi are among the other main actors in the film.

Nominated for award in London

Sankara is also among the 13 films nominated for the FIPRESCI, International Critics award. The award will be presented to the best first or second feature of a director from the titles nominated in the Times BFI London Film Festival.

The Times BFI London Film Festival was officially launched on Thursday for the international media.

The Times BFI 51st London Film Festival’s full programme, announced by Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, includes 184 features and 133 shorts as well as a host of screen talks, master classes and live events.

Sankara will be screened on Friday the 26th and Saturday the 27th of October.

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