• Sat. May 25th, 2024

“Gamperaliya” is a 1963 Sri Lankan drama film , directed by Dr. , with screenplay, dialogue, and script by Reggie Siriwardena and Tissa Abeysekara, adapted from the novel of the same name by Martin Wickramasinghe. The film features an ensemble cast that includes , , , , and , representing several eras of Sri Lankan cinema.


“Gamperaliya” was groundbreaking in Sinhala cinema, as it was shot entirely outside of a studio using only one lamp and handheld lights for lighting. The movie exemplifies Peries's use of family tensions to symbolize wider societal issues.

Internationally acclaimed, “Gamperaliya” received the Golden Peacock for Best Film at the 3rd International Film Festival of India, as well as the Golden Head of Palenque in Mexico. The film won Best Director and Best Film awards at the 1965 Sarasaviya Film Festival and was entered into the 3rd Moscow International Film Festival. It was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008 under the French title “Changement au village” as part of the “Restored Classics” section and subsequently received a general release in French cinemas. In 2001, the Cinema Thek Institute (CTI) in France identified the film as a world heritage.

Commercial success

“Gamperaliya” is considered a groundbreaking film in Sri Lankan cinema and played a significant role in the development of the country's film industry. It was the first Sinhalese language film to receive widespread international acclaim, earning the Golden Peacock award for Best Film at the 1964 International Film Festival of India.

“Gamperaliya” was also a commercial success, becoming the highest-grossing Sinhalese language film at the time of its release. Its success was attributed to its strong performances, poignant storyline, and its ability to capture the social and political climate of post-colonial Sri Lanka.

“Gamperaliya” was instrumental in establishing as a leading figure in Sri Lankan cinema and paved the way for the country's New Wave movement in the 1960s and 1970s. The film has since been regarded as a classic of Sri Lankan cinema and continues to be studied and appreciated by filmmakers and film enthusiasts around the world.

Directed by
Produced by Anton Wickremasinghe
Written by Regi Siriwardena

Music by W.D. Amaradeva
Cinematography William Blake
Edited by Sumitra Gunawardana
Distributed by Cinelanka Ltd.
Release date 1963
Running time 108 minutes
Country Sri Lanka
Language Sinhala

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