Friday, April 1, 2011


Paris, 09 April, ( UNESCO described Sri Lankan film director Lester James Peries as one of the greatest film personalities in the world. Addressing the audience before screening of the film Gamperaliya to honour Lester on his 90th birthday at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on April 6, UNESCO representative recalled that Lester was one of the two recipients of Fellini Award in Paris and the other award winner was great Hollywood actor/director Clint Eastwood. Lester James Peries is also listed in the most prestigious ‘Treasure List’ of UNESCO, which is the world’s most prestigious institution for culture. The screening of Gamperaliya was jointly organised by UNESCO and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in France. The film was screened at Salle 1 of UNESCO in Paris on April 6 to a large gathering of diplomats and French and Sri Lankan film lovers. UNESCO Chief for Creative Industries for Development and Cultural expressions, Georges Poussin said that Lester was one of the cinematic giants of the era and he received many awards and recognitions in Sri Lanka and abroad. Lester’s film Gamperaliya received the Golden Peacock Award at India International Film Festival in 1965 and he was later selected as a Member of the Jury at Cannes Film Festival in France. Sri Lankan Ambassador Lionel Fernando said that Lester James Peries ranked along with the best film makers in the world. He thanked the Heliotrope Films headed by Laurent Aleonard for restoration of the print of Gamperaliya. Ambassador Fernando said that Lester revolutionized Sinhala cinema by producing Rekawa and followed it by several outstanding films like Gamperaliya and Nidhanaya. "Lester and his beloved spouse Sumithra together contributed to the upswing of Sri Lankan cinema in the last five decades," he said. The event to honour Lester James Peries on his 90th birthday was supported by UNESCO, Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris, Helitrope Films, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Bank of Ceylon, National Intellectual Property Office of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and several Sri Lankan organizations in Paris. - Asian Tribune -