Dr. Indika Ferdinando

Name: Dr. Indika Ferdinando

Qualifications: B.A., M.Phil (Kelaniya), Ph.D. (Monash Australia)

Position: Senior Lecturer, Dean of the Faculty | Department of Drama, Oriental Ballet and Modern Dance

Profile:

Dr. Indika Ferdinando is a national and international award-winning Sri Lankan theatre practitioner and a filmmaker. In 2002, he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Drama and Theatre from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, where several years later, he read his M.Phil research on Sri Lankan ritual theatre. He received his PhD in Theatre and Performance from Monash University, Australia in 2017 for the practice-based research titled “Playing with the Senses: Transposing Performative Elements and Applications of Sinhalese Ritual into Contemporary Theatre Practice”. He has a vast range of research interests, namely directing theatre, Sinhalese ritual theatre, political satire, total and minimalist theatre, multi-sensory theatre, inclusiveness in theatrical and cinematic experience, sensory anthropology, cognitive neuroscience and Buddhist philosophy of perception.

Indika’s debut feature film “The Singing Pond” (Ho Gaanaa Pokuna) was selected by prestigious film festivals in the United States, Germany, Czech Republic, China, India and Vietnam (2014 and 2015) and won several international accolades including Best Feature Film. In Sri Lanka, Ho Gaanaa Pokuna thrice received the title of Best Film of the Year in 2016 and also won the award for Most Popular Film of the Year.

He currently works as the Dean of the Faculty of Dance and Drama at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo.

Research Interests:

Directing theatre, alternative modes of theatre-making, Sinhalese ritual theatre, political satire, total and minimalist theatre, multi-sensory theatre, inclusiveness in theatrical and cinematic experience, sensory anthropology, cognitive neuroscience and theatre experience, Buddhist philosophy of perception and theatre experience

Publications:

Janadhipathi Thaththa (The Presidential Father): A Play Text – Sandakada Printers and Publishers (2002)

A Survey on the works of Kapila Kumara Kalinga – Abhinaya: Volume 9, Published by the Department of Cultural Affairs (2003)

An analysis of the impressions on comedy in the Sri Lankan and World Theatre, ‘Abhinandana’ Academic Journal (published as a tribute to Prof. Jayasena Kottegoda), University of the Visual and Performing Arts (2011)

‘Agniya Meda Nagnava’ (Naked amidst the Flame): An Experimental Play –
Published in ‘Samajja Sanhitha’ Journal, University of the Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo (2007)

Research Papers and Seminar Presentations

Kohomba Yak Kankariya: The cultural project of Arya-Yaksha political reconciliation – Annual Research Symposium, University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo (2017)

Making of “The Cardboard Box”: a dramaturgical scrutiny of the cultural and contextual specificities in the practice of film making in Sri Lanka – SADIRN Graduate Academy at Goethe University Frankfurt (4th-6th October, 2017)

‘Touching the Demon’: Physical Experience of the Audio-Visual Stimuli in Sinhalese Ritual Practice – ADSA (Australian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance studies) Conference, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (25th-28th June 2014)

Can rehearsing lead to Over-rehearsing? – Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2012)

An Investigation of an Appropriate Approach to Explore the Theatrical Faculties of the Sri Lankan Ritual Performance – 5th Research Conference organised by the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka (2012) Is Comedy more Tragic than Tragedy itself? – (with Anasuya Subasinghe) Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2009)

Multiple Orgasms vs. the Single Orgasm: A Critical Analysis of the Aristotelian Plot Construction – (with Saumya Liyanage) Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2008)

An Actor Training System for Sri Lanka – Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2008)

The Social Body vs. the Performance Body – (with Saumya Liyanage) Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2007)

The Dominance of the Five Senses in Sri Lankan Ritual – Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2007)

Can the Ritual Tradition in Sri Lanka be Successfully Scrutinised through the Criteria of the Great Tradition – Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2006)

Possession: The Conscious and the Unconscious – Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2005)

A Study on the Possession of the ‘Vahala’ Dancer in the Sri Lankan Ritual Performance – Annual Research Symposium, University of Kelaniya (2004)

Awards:

Faculty of Arts International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (FAIPRS), Monash University, Australia (2014)

Faculty of Arts Short-Term PhD Scholarship for Tuition, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Australia (2014)

Runner up – Three Minutes Thesis Competition, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Australia (2013)

Monash Graduate Scholarship (MGS) for PhD research, Monash University, Australia (2012)

Partial Funding Scholarship for PhD research, National Centre for Advanced Studies (NCAS), Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka (2013)

Scholarship for PhD Research offered by HETC Project, Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka (2011)

Scholarship for Short-term Training at the National School of Drama, New Delhi, India offered by IRQUE Project, Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka (2010)

Buddhadasa Galappatti Award for Outstanding Performance in Drama and Theatre – 1st Examination in Arts, University of Kelaniya (1999)

Screenwriter and Director – International

Vedi Novadina Lamai [Bulletproof Children] – feature film

World Premiere – Bangalore International Film Festival, India (2020)

Official Selection (Best Foreign Film Category) – Golden Rooster Film Awards, China (2020)

Ho Gaanaa Pokuna [The Singing Pond] – feature film

Best Feature Film – Lucas International Children’s Film Festival, Germany (2015)

Best Child Performance – Zlin Film Festival for Children and Youth, Czech Republic (2015)

Teacher’s Choice Prize – Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, USA (2014)

Best Screen Play, Best Editing – South Asian (SAARC) Film Festival, Sri Lanka (2016)

World Premiere – Shanghai International Film Festival, China (2014)

Official Selection – International Film Festival of India, Goa (2014)

Official Selection – Hanoi International Film Festival, Vietnam (2014)

Official Selection – Golden Elephant International Children’s Film Festival of India (2015)

Official Selection – Hamburg Film Fest, Germany (2015)

Official Selection – CSM International Children’s Film Festival, India (2015)

Screenwriter and Director – National

Ho Gaanaa Pokuna [The Singing Pond] feature film:

Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actor, Best Music Score, Best Sound Design, Special Jury Award for Child Performance – Signis Film Awards (2016)

Best Film, Most Popular Film, Best Background Score, Best Supporting Actor, Most Promising Female Performance, Special Jury Award for Child Performance, Most Popular Song – Derana Film Awards, Sri Lanka (2016)

Best Film, Best Actor in a Comic Role, Best Actor in a Villainous Role – Hiru Golden Film Awards, Sri Lanka (2016)

Bunka Award

Bunka Award for the outstanding contribution to the fields of Theatre and Film Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Cultural Fund, Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka (2019)

The National Theatre Festival of Sri Lanka

Colombo Colombo – full length play: Best Production of the Year, Best Playwright, Best Director (2010)

Nahaya Nethi Miniha [Man Without A Nose] – full length play: 1st Runner-up for Best Playwright category (2003)

Janadhipathi Thaththa [Presidential Father] – full-length play: Best Upcoming Director and 1st Runner-up for Best Playwright category (2001)

Dhammarathana Hari Narakai [The Wayward Monk] – a short play written and directed by Sanjeewa Upendra : Merit Award for the Best Set Design (2000)

Murugasanwarusa [Beastly Rain] – short play: Best Production of the Year, Best Playwright, Best Director, Best Actor (1997)

National Youth Theatre Festival – Sri Lanka

Janadhipathi Thaththa [Presidential Father] – full-length play: Best Production 2nd Runner-up, Best Playwright 1st Runner-up (2000)

Dhammarathana Hari Narakai [The Wayward Monk] – short play written and directed by Sanjeewa Upendra: Best Set Design (1999)

National Children’s Drama Festival – Sri Lanka

Aruma Puduma Bonikka [The Amazing Doll] – written and directed by Wasantha Padmasiri: Best Music Composition (2001)

Honda Hawai Danga Hawai [The Good Rabbit & The Naughty Rabbit] written and directed by Imanka Jayaweera: Best Music Composition, Best Actor (2000)

Chocolate Baba- written and directed by Chathurani Thilakarathna: Best Music Composition, Best Costume Design (1999)

Kalu Sudu Pencho [Black & White Buddies] – written and directed by Chathurani Thilakarathna: Best Music Composition (1998)

Dhammarathana Hari Narakai [short play written and directed by Sanjeewa Upendra] – Best Set Design, Best Promising Performance (1999)

Ehema Deyak Une Nehe [short play written and directed by Sanjeewa Upendra] – Best Actor (2001)

National Short Film Competition – Film Corporation of Sri Lanka

Two Heroes – Screenwriter and Director: Film placed among the Top 7 Films of the Festival (2006)

Achievements:

Represented Sri Lanka at the Iran International University Theatre Festival 2019 as the supervisor of the play “Brain Wash” directed by Lahiru Prasad Bandula

Represented Sri Lanka at the South Asian Women’s Theatre Festival 2010 as Playwright and Director of “Colombo Colombo” full length play

Represented Sri Lanka at the Kathmandu International Theatre Festival 2010 as Playwright and Director of “Colombo Colombo” full length play

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