Boodee Keerthisena

Vishvanath Buddhika Keerthisena, known as Boodee, went to New York in 1987 to study film and television at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, after working with theatre groups in Sri Lanka for two years. After his graduation from the Film Department in 1995, he went to work at Tower Records as a Sales Clerk. There he met Stephen Farber, who later became a good friend and introduced him to Looking Glass Studios where he was consequently employed. It was during this time that he met a young composer John Moran (Manson Family Opera, Mathew in School of life) and they became good friends. Stephen soon asked him to collaborate on the documentary 'Late 20th Century Opera Composers', which Stephen consequently Co-Produced and Boodee Co-Produced and Directed. During the making of this documentary Boodee was able to work with Phillip Glass, the late Allen Ginsberg and John Moran.

Eight years after going to Manhattan at the age of 21, he returned to Sri Lanka to work on the feature film 'Veils of Maya' (Sihina Desayan - 1993) which film he presented as the thesis for his graduation in 1995. The film received 31 awards, in many festivals including Best Director and Best Film. Seven of these awards were for Boodee.

As the Director of commercials, Boodee has produced and directed numerous documentaries and also worked on talk shows for European and local TV channels.

In 1997 he started making the film 'Bongiorno Italiya'. Since it was "low-low-low-budget" – practically no-budget-at-all, it took him nearly five years to complete. The screenplay, which he had been writing since 1993, was inspired by his own village, family and friends. Shooting of the film was completed in Sri Lanka and Italy with a crew from 8 different countries. The film was released in 2004 and was in 16 festivals. It won 15 awards including Best Director. In 2008 he co-wrote the screenplay and Directed "Alone in a Valley" (Nimnayaka Hudakalawa) which is in post production currently.

Boodee is well known as an Artist. He began his career by drawing comics. Quietly, he moved into paintings, Dress Designing and Visual Arts and into Music in the late 80s. He performed in a band called "Boo-Dee and the Woo-Zees" (1986-1992) as the Lead Singer.

From 2009/2010 he Directed "Matha" a film based on the last Elam War that ended after nearly 30 years. The film was released in January 2012. Since he got back to Sri Lanka in 1995, he has Directed and Produced over 100 TV Commercials, more than 30 Documentaries, two TV Series and many Music Videos.

In June 2013 he re- grouped with actor Mahendra Perera and actor Palitha Silva for "Adventures of Rickydeen" shot using two iphone 5's. He co-wrote the screenplay with his long time friend from New York city Onome Ekeh. Currently under post production.

With his first feature film "Veils of Maya" ( Sihina Deshayen ), he opened a new and experimental arena for Sri Lankan Cinema in 1996. Followed by "Buongiorno Italia" ( Mille Soya ) he introduced a complete different acting style to Sri Lankan Cinema, one that is more natural and realistic. His liking to experiment in Cinema, he approached a improversation method with actors and with his cinematographers. Some critics identified his working style and the filmmaking itself with John Cassavetes, considering the budgets and getting his friends involved in the filmmaking process including actors. He also became the first Sri Lankan Filmmaker to shoot in Europe.

Some film critics such as Amy Taubin ( New York City), described his work in "Buongiorno Italia" ( Mille Soya ) as a part of an International wave of new neo-realism films made by filmmakers outside of the industry. Many critics local and international, described "Buongiorno Italia" ( Mille Soya ) as a fresh approached to the Sri Lankan Cinema.

Even though "Matha" his war movie had good and bad critiqes, this is what Dr.Lester James Peries had to say about it. " Matha is a stunningly produced film, in that it virtually creates in the audience the horror of war, a physical experience. This is its greatest quality. For the most of to length to documentary in style and yet it has the emotional intensity of a fiction film. With Matha, boodee becomes the first person to take Sri Lankan VFX (Visual Effects) industry to a different level with his team from his company "Elephant and the Mouse". The film ends up with more than 300 shots with VFX, including a train blowen up scene.

The photography is unrelenting in depicting the battle scenes, and the entire film is directed with a mastery that makes Boodee one of Sri Lanka's finest directors. A milestone in Sri Lankan Cinema". - Lester James Peries

His latest movie, "Alone in a Valley" ( Nimnayaka Hudakalawa ), did its world primere on the International Film Festival of Colombo on November, 2015. He is also working on another new project which is entirely shot with iphone 5. He is collaborating the screenplay with his long time friend Onome Ekeh from New York City. With this project he re groups with his main actor from the first film, Palitha Silva, his long time friend actor Mahendra Perera and friend and composer Lakshman Joseph De Saram.

His newest venture is titled Gone which is based on the mysterious disappearance of a group of friends.

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