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    Malani fonseka felicitated at 16th Deauville Asian film Festival

    March 25, 2014

    International award winning actress and Member of Parliament, Malani Fonseka was honoured with a tribute on the opening night of the 16th Deauville Asian Film Festival for her contribution to theatre and cinema over the last fifty years.

    She was felicitated for her multifaceted career as an actress, on stage, in films and on television including her contribution as a director and producer in addition to being a member of international film festival juries.


    The President of the Festival, Mr Lionel Chouchan introduced Ms Fonseka on the stage and presented the special felicitation award to her. The Mayor of Deauville, Philippe Augier, in presenting Ms Fonseka with the Medal of the City recalled her acting prowess and valued contribution to the film industry of Sri Lanka.


    Accepting the award, Ms Fonseka dedicated it to the people of Sri Lanka and paid homage to the cinema industry in Sri Lanka. She recalled her initial years in the sphere of theatre and drama and those who had helped her, especially her parents who had facilitated her many endeavours and her drama teacher at Gurukula Vidyalaya in Kelaniya. Despite not receiving formal training in the field of acting, Ms Fonseka noted that dedication and sheer commitment as well as the opportunity to work with some of the best that Sri Lanka had produced in terms of directors, fellow actors and industry colleagues had resulted in her ability to make a contribution.


    In her honour, three Sri Lankan films namely, 'Nidhanaya' (The Treasure) by Dr Lester James Peries, 'Bambaru Awith' (The Wasps are here) by Dharmasena Pathiraja and 'Akasa Kusum' (Flowers of the Sky) by Prasanna Vithanage were screened during the Festival. Dr. Lester James Peries and Mrs Sumithra Peries were honoured in the field of directing in 2001 while the other South Asian actors to be honoured were Shabana Azmi in 2000 and Amitabh Bachchan in 2003.


    Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte was also present on the opening night of the Festival, which ran from 5th to 9th March 2014 in the seaside town of Deauville. The Sri Lankan national flag was flown at the city centre during the week of the Festival. Many renowned actors, directors and reputed personalities in the film industry of France as well as from across Asia attended the Festival.


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