(Colombo, Sri Lanka) ‘Rupakshara’ or ‘Painted Letters’ is a new two-hour movie about a young artist who is inspired to greatness by his teacher.

Chameera, a young boy from a broken family, encounters a new teacher in his rural village, who recognises Chameera’s artistic talent and encourages him to reach ‘for the stars’. As Chameera grows into adulthood, the relationship with his teacher develops and deepens. The teacher continues to inspire Chameera to realise his artistic potential, and eventually, Chameera gains first place in an international art competition.

The movie draws inspiration from the Incarnation of Jesus, with people called to realise their God-given potential and to ‘bring to birth’ in themselves, new hope and direction for their lives, shaped on the profound reality, that we’re all created in God’s image.

Tharindu Jayakodi, a Buddhist, is the movie’s director. Throughout the movie’s production, Mr Jayakodi was ably assisted by the youth of Holy Rosary parish, Hewadiwela; a missionary outreach of the Redemptorists in Sri Lanka. The actors are all locals, drawn from the village of Hewadiwela, regardless of race, faith or status.

In July 2020, the Redemptorists assumed pastoral leadership of the abandoned Holy Rosary parish located in the Diocese of Ratnapura. The movie has become a sign of unity among the parish youth and the people of Hewadiwela.

The movie had its premiere screening on a hired ‘big screen’, with accompanying ‘big sound equipment’ on Saturday, December 17, in the presence of the entire village and a number of special guests.

Part of the income generated from the movie will be donated as a Christmas gift to the Sri Lankan Cancer Hospital. At this time of Sri Lanka’s humanitarian and economic crisis, such a generous gift will bring significant benefits to a number of very sick and vulnerable people.

The project has been enthusiastically supported and guided by the Redemptorist pastoral team of Frs Amila Pathum (Assistant Priest) and Rohan Perera (Parish Priest).

The movie’s main actors are: Champa Dhilrukshi (village gossip), Rayan Susitha (boyhood artist), Chaminda Marasinghe (teacher) and Vihaga Premasinghe (adult artist).

David J. Hore, C.Ss.R.

(photographs submitted by the author)