Sri Lankan cinema gasping for breath | india | Hindustan Times
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Sri Lankan cinema gasping for breath

Lack of finances is a major hindrance for the growth of cinema in the island nation.

india Updated: May 19, 2006 20:04 IST

While Indian cinema seems to have carved its niche on the global scene, its cousins in South Asia are still struggling to find their feet.

The state of Sri Lankan cinema is no different.

Lack of finances is a major hindrance for the growth of cinema in the island nation. The menace of movie piracy is further adding to the woes.

"Sri Lankan cinema was heavily subsidised by the government earlier, but now without the subsidies, production has gone down to a mere 15 films per year," says Prasanna Vithanage, a Lankan filmmaker with many international awards to his credit.

"Piracy is another major problem. In the last two years, the number of cinema halls in the country has gone down from 197 to 177," he says.

"Rather than going to watch movies in the cinemas, people prefer to stay home and watch pirated DVDs, VCDs and television," he regrets.

Though piracy of Sri Lankan films has decreased over the years due to strict police action, illegal copies of Bollywood and Hollywood films still rule the DVD market there.

"Most of the foreign films, both from Bollywood and Hollywood are being pirated heavily in Sri Lanka. But the local films, because of police raids, have come down," Vithanage says.