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Distinguished filmmaker leads Sri Lanka national TV

The new chairman of Sri Lanka’s national television service is one of the country’s most celebrates filmmakers.

Dr Somaratne Dissanayake, who is the new Chairman of Sri Lanka Rūpavāhinī (TV) Corporation, moved from a successful career in science and medicine into the world of film making while he was a citizen of Australia and went on to make the most popular film in the history of Sri Lankan cinema, “Suriya Arana”.

Dr Dissanayake studied science in school and obtained the first degree in medical radiography from London University before migrating to Australia in 1978. 

While practicing in the medical field there he undertook post-graduate studies in performing arts and obtained a masters degree in performance directing from Sydney University in 1997.

He later obtained a PhD in cinema from the Colombo University of Arts and gave up his medical career in Australia to make films in Sri Lanka.

His movies have won many international awards at world festivals, being not only artistic successes but also commercial successes. Dr Dissanayake is the president of the Film Makers Guild of Sri Lanka (FMG) and has been the recipient of the “Peoples Award” as the people’s artist of the country for last five years.