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“Sheysha” by Sri Lankan Filmmaker Isuru Gunathilake Wins Best Dance Film at World Film Festival in Cannes

“Sheysha,” a film showcasing Sri Lanka’s traditional dance and exploring a father-son relationship, has been awarded the Best Dance Film category at the World Film Festival in Cannes. Directed by the young Sri Lankan filmmaker Isuru Gunathilake and scripted by Samantha Kumara Gamage, the movie tells a poignant story of a ‘Gurunnanse’ (a traditional dance master) and his beloved son striving to protect their art in a politically unconscious and culturally corrupted society. “Sheysha” highlights the struggle to preserve an art form that uniquely persists in human society.

Gunathilake is no stranger to accolades; his 2020 short film “The Vultures” won the Human Rights Prize at the Agenda 14 Short Film Festival, as well as a merit award and the Jury Award for Best Actor at the Ninth Youth Film Festival. It was also an official selection at the Jaffna International Cinema Festival. His other notable works include short films “The Circle of Life” and “The Dummy.”

The World Film Festival in Cannes, known for its “Remember the Future” theme, organizes monthly and annual competitions for international filmmakers. The festival features various genres, including feature films, short films, independent films, documentaries, experimental films, animated films, music videos, screenwriters, songwriters, singers, bands, commercials, and Web/TV series, and is an IMDb-qualifying event.



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