President Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the outmoded film corporation would be transformed using modern technology, and it would be developed into a film and teledrama industries development company in Sri Lanka.

Also, President Wickremesinghe highlighted the importance of providing foreign training opportunities to artists and production designers.

This measure seeks to equip them with the latest technological knowledge, emphasizing the need for the film and teledrama industries to embrace modern advancements for future progress.

He further mentioned that artificial intelligence (AI) technology has integrated into the global film industry, and moving forward, the government will extend support for the production of Sri Lanka’s first AI film.

President Wickremesinghe made this statement while addressing the 20th Raigam Tele’es Awards ceremony held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo yesterday (30).

The annual Raigam Tele’es Awards ceremony, organized by the Raigam Tele’es Secretariat, is based on a concept introduced by Mr. Dr. Ravi Liyanage, the president of the Kingdom of Raigam Group and a renowned entrepreneur in the country.

This prestigious event honours excellence in teledramas, media programs, and television news programs screened during the year 2023, with over sixty awards presented across seven categories.

President Wickramasinghe joined the Raigam Special Pranama Awards ceremony where veteran artists Atula Ransirilal, Givantha Arthasad, and Grace Thennakoon were honoured with awards presented by the President.

The prestigious “Raigam Pratibha Prabha” Honorary Award, a once-in-a-lifetime recognition, was conferred to Dr. Rohana Weerasinghe by the President.

Additionally, veteran actor Mahendra Perera was honoured as the best teledrama actor of the year, and Semini Iddamalgoda was recognized as the best teledrama actress of the year.

The award ceremony was vibrant, featuring performances by seasoned singers and actors.

President Wickremesinghe, who took part in a group photo with all the award recipients from the arts and journalism fields, also engaged in a pleasant conversation with the guests, including veteran artists and singers.

During his speech at the Raigam Tele’es Awards ceremony, President Wickramasinghe elaborated:

“The award ceremony, initiated by the Raigam Group, is celebrating its 20th anniversary today. I would like to thank the Raigam Group for their contribution to this award ceremony. I extend my gratitude to the Raigam Group for their valuable contributions to this event.

Over the last twenty years, there has been a significant revolution in television. Nowadays, television faces competition from mobile phones and laptops. The world is advancing with platforms like Netflix and Amazon. We need to keep pace with these developments. Many countries are producing films in multiple languages, including smaller nations like Greece. We should also pay attention to this. It’s essential for us to take note of these trends and adapt accordingly.

Hence, our primary focus is on modernizing the outmoded film corporation and transforming it into a film and teledrama development entity. It is worth mentioning that we are actively working to facilitate the required expertise for this transition. During the inception of television, numerous individuals were offered training opportunities in Japan, which resulted in the emergence of new teledramas such as “Yasoravaya” during that period. We want to emphasize that we will be revisiting and working on similar initiatives in the near future.

Furthermore, artificial intelligence (AI) technology has become a part of the film industry since last year. “The Frost” short film is an example of a production created using AI technology, including the screenplay. India is also producing “Maharaja in Denims,” which will soon be introduced in Sri Lanka. It’s imperative for us to make preparations for these advancements as well.

I have instructed the committee that we appointed for the introduction of artificial intelligence in Sri Lanka to collaborate with the University of Moratuwa and the University of Beauty in producing Sri Lanka’s first AI film. It should be noted that the government is working to provide funding for this.

In this way, the film industry is undergoing a change that we did not anticipate. I invite everyone to embark on a new journey by modernizing the film corporation and creating the first AI film.

Transport, Highways, and Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Professor Sunil Ariyaratne, Professor J. B. Dissanayake, numerous distinguished guests, veteran actresses including Swarna Mallavarachchi, singers, artists, film directors, producers, and several renowned guests were present at the event.


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