Make films to win the international arena - Pathum Mahagama | Sunday Observer

Make films to win the international arena - Pathum Mahagama

14 August, 2022

Unlike most films that would go down as poignant love stories and thriller stories , the short film 'Face' directed and scripted by Pathum Mahagama broke the status quo and established a new icon.

No doubt that Face revolving around psychological conditions and disorders will become a teeth-clenching cinematic creation for movie buffs. Surprisingly, you can watch this international award-winning movie on You Tube.

Sri Lanka's flagship English language newspaper the Sunday Observer met Pathum Mahagama to share his ideas with you.

Pathum , born on May 24, 1997 had his education at two schools, Our Lady's School, Nuwara Eliya and Ranabima Royal College.

After completing his Advanced Level examination, he wanted to learn drama and theatre at the Institute of Media and Performing Arts (IMPAS) headed by veteran journalist Saddha Mangala Sooriyabandara.

Nor did Pathum miss out any chance to prove his inborn skills and stamina. The Sirasa film star program became a fertile ground for him. Competing with many artistes, he was selected to the final round at the reality program.

Speaking of his acting life, we have seen him in both teleplays and stage plays. He plays the main role in Asamathjathiya directed by Thushari Abeysekara.

Talent , as you know, is inborn. What had taken Pathum to great heights is his talent. My surmise is that it is his creativity. Pathum's cinematic life began to bloom just after the completion of his degree. "Face is my maiden film that I made just after my degree." he said.

Nor had Pathum studied film making at the university because he was pursuing his higher studies in the commerce stream at the university of Jayewardenepura.

At present, he holds an honours degree in management studies and commerce from the university. Had you watched the movie, you would have been taken aback by the uncommon and new plot. Most film makers seem to be limited to glass boxes, which means they are reluctant to think beyond their scope.

Pathum's short film Face has been based on psychological disorders undergone by people. Viewers can see only three characters on the screen played by Pathum and Sachin Senthilkumaran.

In the first sequence the camera pans down a mental hospital ward where we can see a young psychiatric patient squirming nervously.

We are not told that it is a mental hospital until the psychiatrist appears on the screen. The story is well executed and the non-stop action set pieces too grow as the film continues. The great array of camera angles keeps our eyes glued to the screen. 'Face' scripted and directed by Pathum Mahagama is being internationally acclaimed because of its concept. Significantly, except for facial expressions, emotions and camera angles, the film maker had not used any dialogue for the film.


Pathum's maiden short film Face was selected to the final round at the Indie Short Film Festival 2022 in India. The award for the Best Actor too went to Pathum at the event. He won the First Time Film Maker Award 2022 at the Lift Off Global Network in England. In addition, the short film was selected among the final 41 films at the 4th Screen Online Film Awards 2022.

Special thanks

Asked about the support from his parents, Pathum said that special thanks should go to his parents and each and everyone behind the camera. "I want to remember my parents and other members who supported me to make my first film. Face was shot at the Nuwara Eliya Mental Hospital. I want to extend my gratitude towards the Health Ministry and the staff members of the hospital."

Pathum's opinion

"Short films based on deep themes and good concepts are being produced these days, which means we can witness a positive progress in short film making. That the professional film makers are contributing to short film making is a good sign for a better future. I am of the opinion that film makers should make films based on new concepts for both international and local audiences, rather than being confined to traditional ones."