"Artistic films are very much influenced by Bengali artistic films. The most influential music today is of (Nobel laureate Rabindranath) Tagore," Vithanage told reporters on Tuesday.

He explained that post independence Sri Lankan music lovers came to Shantiniketan in West Bengal, to study music and after they returned "they created indigenous music mixed with Rabindrasangeet".
Elaborating on the Indian connect with Sri Lankan cinema, he said filmmakers like the late Rituparno Ghosh and Budhhadeb Dasgupta have influenced his generation of filmmakers.

"Satyajit Ray and the first generation of Sri Lankan filmmakers were inspired by Italian cinema...the second generation of filmmakers were inspired by Mrinal Sen's works and then we, the third generation, are inspired by Rituparno Ghosh and Budhhadeb Dasgupta."

However, he pointed out that the big Bollywood productions are released immediately in Sri Lanka, whereas the art films are not screened now.


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