With over 25 years of experience as an assistant director and nearly
40 movies to his credit, Donald Jayantha has made a mark in the industry
that many will find hard to overtake. The 'man-behind-the-scene' entered
the scene as an actor before turning AD. He is, without doubt, one of
the most renowned faces behind the reel today. Not only has he worked
with popular directors in the scene but he also has the knack of
spotting fresh talent.
The old boy of Deniyaya Kotapola Maha Vidyalaya possessed a passion
for the arts scene from his childhood. After completing his studies,
Donald joined a couple of stage productions and teledramas as an actor
while working as a journalist. However he soon realized that his true
talent lies behind the scenes when seasoned filmmaker Dharmasiri Gamage
requested his assistance in 'Yasa Isuru'.
"I was inspired by acting duo Gamini Fonseka and Malani Fonseka. They
made some exceptional films together. However my destiny was
pre-planned. Working on the sets of 'Yasa Isuru' decided my course life
and Gamage employed me in 'Pooja'. I have worked with Udayakantha
Warnasuirya in most of his projects and some of the other directors in
the scene," Donald explained.
He says that there are only a handful of ADs in local cinema today.
Therefore there is a need for them to uphold their position in the
He adds, "The fact that I. N. Hewawasam had instilled a sense of
professionalism into the sector Ads which is pleasing. An AD is not the
director's assistant. He plays a vital role in coordinating the whole
project while the director concentrates on matters like the creative
aspects of the movie. Some mammoth movie creations in the global scene
employ more than one AD to look over matters. It is their duty to see
that the project runs smoothly."
He has worked as an AD in some popular projects like 'Dehena', 'One
Shot', 'Parliament Jokes', 'Vimukthi', 'Hiripoda Vessa', 'Anjalika', 'Asai
Mang Piyambanna', 'Rosa Kele', 'Prabhakaran', 'Paya Enna Hiruse' and
more. Some of the creations he had assistant directed are also in the
pipe line to be released. 'Mago Digo Dai' which will make its entrance
to theatres soon is also one of the movies he had worked on. 'Ran Kevita
II' and 'Suwanda Danuna Jeevithe' are other productions to watch out
"I have worked with some of the best people in the scene and am now
looking forward to directing my own film. I plan to do that once I have
passed the 50 milestone as AD. The 51st creation will be my own
direction," he smiled adding that he wishes to express his gratitude to
Dharmasiri Gamage, his wife Mangalika Nagodawithana, Udayakantha
Warnasuriya, Priyantha Colombage, Dhammika Siriwardana, Ashoka
Serasinghe, Ranjan Ramanayake and all those who had invited him to work
on their sets.