Sarasaviya Awards

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Sarasaviya Awards
Current: 34th Sarasaviya Awards
Trophy of the award
Awarded forExcellence in cinematic achievements
Country Sri Lanka
Presented by Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited
First awardedMay 9, 1964
Last awarded3 August 2018 (2018-08-03)

Sarasaviya Awards (Sinhala:සරසවිය සම්මාන) is an award bestowed to distinguished individuals involved with the Sinhala cinema, each year by the Sarasaviya weekly newspaper in collaboration with the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House), Sri Lanka in recognition of the contributions made by them to the Sri Lankan film industry. The Sarasaviya ceremony is one of the oldest film events in Sri Lanka. The awards were first introduced in 1964. [1] [2] The Sarasaviya Awards have been often referred to as the Sinhala Cinema industry's equivalent to The Oscars. [3]



The Sarasaviya film awards ceremony began in 1964 at a time when the local cinema was trying to shed its South Indian orientation and establish an indigenous identity. There was no need to go to India to make films any more and the era of Indian artistes too had ended.

The first Sarasaviya film festival was held on May 9, 1964 at the Asoka Cinema Hall, Colombo, 17 years after the first Sinhala film screened. By then a series of good Sinhala films like Podi Putha, Rekhawa, Sandeshaya, Ranmuthuduwa, Kurulubedda, Sikurutharuwa and Gamperaliya had appeared on screen. Yet the mainstream consisted of simulations of Indian productions.

The year 1960 is seen as the beginning of the golden era of Sinhala cinema. The first Sarasaviya Awards Festival had as entries not only the films screened in 1963 but also the films screened from 1960 to 1963. The best film, best director, best script-writer, best actor and best actress were honoured that day. Gamperaliya was regarded as the best film and it was awarded to its producer Anton Wickremasinghe. Sir Lester James Peiris and Regi Siriwardena won the awards for best director and best script-writer, respectively and that too was for Gamperaliya. D.R. Nanayakkara was awarded the best actor title for his performance in Sikuru Tharuwa, another popular film in the 1964 film festival. The best actress award was received by Punya Heendeniya for her performance in Gamperaliya.

Suspension and 2016 resumption

The awards festival was suspended by the Rajapaksa administration and were resumed in 2016 after Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka announced that the festival will resume under the new government. [4]

Awards at present

In 2004, there were 33 awards in total, including the 12 prominent awards. However, this varies from year to year. Following is a brief list of the Award winners from each category for each year since 1964.

Prominent awards

Awards based on popularvote

Technical awards

Lifetime awards

Special awards

Talent awards

Winners of past Sarasaviya Awards

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  1. "Magazine | - Sri Lanka". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  2. "Online edition of Daily News - News". Archived from the original on 2003-09-11.
  3. "Feature".
  4. "2016 Sarasaviya Awards".