Indian film award vanishes at Sri Lanka director’s funeral

ECONOMYNEXT – A prestigious Indian award given to acclaimed Sri Lankan director, Lester James Peries, was reported missing Wednesday at his funeral, family members said.

The Golden Peacock award was displayed by his coffin and placed next to a portrait of the 99-year-old celebrity director who is regarded as the father of Sri Lankan cinema.

A family member said they noticed the award had disappeared as the coffin was removed from his home to the Independence Square for a cremation with full state honours.  Bablapitiya police have launched an investigation to track down the Golden Peacock, Lester’s first international recognition.

Sri Lanka had declared Wednesday a day of national mourning as a sign of respect for Peries who won the Golden Peacock award for the best film at the International Film Festival of India in 1965.

It was for his 1963 film "Gamperaliya."  His 1956 film, Rekawa, which was also about village life, was the first movie in Sri Lanka to be filmed entirely outdoors. Peries has directed, produced and written the screen play for 28 films during a career spanning 57 years. (COLOMBO, May 2, 2018)

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