Chandani Seneviratne: An effervescent voyage in celebrity By Sunil Thenabadu
Chandani Seneviratne is one of the most sought after deity actresses in the past three decades who has indisputably engraved a position in the souls and psyches of Sri Lankans for her impressive, incredible and gripping feats in films, theatre and television. During this period the accolades received and inestimable awards won are in abundance Thus her name is irrevocably allied with award winning television productions such as “Doo Daruwo”,”Gamperaliya” and “Giraya”. Along with these Tele dramas her name too was also etched as a household name predominantly for her possessing of immense modesty and warmness.
For Chandani it had all begun during school years at St.Paul;s Milagiriya, contemplatively after her primary education up to Grade 5 was at Dharmapala Vidyalaya Pannipitiya. She had confessed that until then a career in acting had never penetrated her mind. Instead, she attributes her preface to acting to Somalatha Subasinghe, a renowned dramatist who was then was her teacher at St Paul’s Milagiriya. Till then her curiosity had been confined only basically to enjoy watching a film or a good quality play. However ,by sheer quirk and opportunity she had established a place in Somalatha Subasinghe’s group where she rapidly had got implicated in abundant children’s plays which she had exploited.
Chandani was born on 28th December 1962 in Boralesgamuwa.Thus her career in artistic activity began on stage acting in children’s plays and theatre of the ‘Vikurthi Natya’ Then in year 1981, in the days where television and Teledramas were unheard of, Chandani got her first breakthrough playing a role in the film “Sathi Puja”In which she won the Presidential Award for best supporting Actress for portraying her debut role in this film Since she was relentless as a hunted actress delegating her challenging and versatile roles entrusted to depict. Then on, she achieved much recognition from her triumphs and it marked the beginning of a succession of roles in both television and cinema. She had acted in over 40 Tele dramas and 25 films to date.Chandani is also a competant presenter on television.
Chandani had also embarked on a directorial debut in a five episode, Tele drama “Sulang Seenu”for which she also had won awards.
Possessing an accepted flamboyance for embracing her characters and her immense dedication to her expertise have earned her inevitable status as well as every distinguished acknowledgment in the Sri Lankan film and Tele drama industry. Recently she was also recognized with a Jury’s Special Mention at the Dubai International Film Festival for her performance in the film ‘Nikini Wessa’ in year 2012. Despite all her accomplishments and prestige earned on over 40 Tele dramas and 25 films. Chandani is well known for her humility, warmth and her very pleasing disposition towards everybody.
Apart from winning the best Actress award at Dubai International Film Festival for- Nikini Wessa in year 2012 and the best supporting Actress for her debut film “ Sathi Puja” in year 1984, Chandani won Sarasaviya Award for the best Actress in year 2006 for her role portrayed in “Udu Gan Yamaya”,SIGNIS Gold award for Creative Acting (Female) – ‘Udu Gan Yamaya’ also in year 2006 ,Presidential Award for the best supporting Actress – ‘Sulanga’ in year 2006, SIGNIS special merit Award – Sarasaviya Award for the best supporting Actress – Uppalawanna in year 2007,Lanka Live Award for best Actress -’ Nikini Wessa’ in 2012 ,Hiru Golden Film Award for best Actress – ‘Nikini Wessa’ in year 2012, SIGNIS Award for Creative Performance (Female): Silver Award – Nikini Wessa in 2012 and also Signis Award for most creative supporting Actress – ‘Kusa Paba’ in year 2013.,In year 2018 for the best supporting actress Signis award for best supporting actress in ‘Bedde Kulawariya.’
In Tele Dramas Chandani Had won many awards in consecutive years at the Raigam Tele award ceremonies. In year 2005 won the best Actress for “Punchi Rala” ,in year 2006 also best Actress for “Jeevithayata Idadenna”in year 2008 best Actress for “Rala Bindena Thena” in year 2011 award for best supporting Actress in “Thaksalawa” and in year 2015 award for the best Actress in “Chess”.
Chandani also had won several awards at the Sumathi Tele awards ceremonies. In year 1996 won the best Actress award for role in “Kasthirama”,in same year 1996 was the most popular Actress for role in “Sankranthi Samaya”,in year 1999 the best Actress in “Nisala Wila”,in year 2007 the best Director single episode for “Sulang Seenu”,in year 2008 the best Actress for “Rala Bindena Thena”,in year 2011 the best supporting Actress for role in “Thaksalawa”.In year 2017 she won the best supporting actress Raigam Tele award in One way while in year 2019 won the best actress Raigam tele award for ‘Sahodaraya.’.
Chandani had also won the SIGNIS awards for best Actress in year 2008,2009 and 2015 for portraying roles in “Karuwala Gedera”,”Arungal” and “Chess” Tele dramas respectively.
After all her above triumphs she had divulged her present views on our Tele drama field at the “Sihinayaki Re” programme of the SLRC which was telecast in which she was the ‘GUEST”. When the producer and presenter Mahesh Nissanka asked about her present work and assignments she said the Tele drama field is not steady at present, hence she has opted to pick and choose her roles and hence she is not busy, spending her time at home. She lamented that the present Tele drama field is on a backward trend which is a disastrous and is unlikely it would change with the present generation of artistes whose ideas and styles of life, culture are very indifferent and pathetic.
Chandani had confessed that her mother Nayana Eriyagama was the greatest inspiration to her life as she had encouraged her to reach unprecedented heights to achieve all her dreams.
It would be the fervent hope of all has fans to wish her the very best in all her future endeavors.
Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane