On 12 March 2022 at 6 p.m. High School Junkies’ latest short film titled Temporal will be released online. The film had a limited screening on Monday (7) and we were lucky enough to catch the film at Liberty Scope Cinemas.
Temporal is a sci-fi film courtesy of High School Junkies in collaboration with Harindu Gunawardena Pictures.
Directed by Akash Sunethkumara, the film stars Vimukthi Kiriella and Ishanka Abeysekara as the protagonists. The film’s synopsis is: “On a tragic night, a physicist challenges the limits of time travel to save the woman he loves, but soon discovers its inherent dangers are far greater than he expects.” The film is in Sinhala language.
Speaking to the film’s Director of Photography (DOP) Kasun Rathnasiri, a High School Junkies core partner, he shared that the film was one of the biggest productions they have ever attempted, adding that nearly 50 to 60 people worked on the film.
He noted that what they had originally set out to do was to show the Sri Lankan audiences that Sri Lanka is very capable of making films that are similar to those coming out of Hollywood right now.
He stated: “We haven’t really seen this subject of time travel tackled in a Sri Lankan production before. We wanted to do this mainly because we wanted to show that Sri Lanka can make these types of productions that are similar to the big blockbusters coming out of Hollywood.”
He added: “There is a lack of films that have that look and feel of those types of movies in our theatres right now; you see films like The Batman, and the trend of the audience and what they are looking for.”
He also noted that he believes that the reason why we don’t have these kinds of films being made here is not entirely due to a lack of budget, but rather a lack in desire and passion for filmmaking. “This film featured a massive crew, and many of them came on board to work for free; much of our budget was for location and cameras and the technical aspects of it, and the youngsters that came on board were all there for the pure passion of filmmaking,” he said.
Kasun also noted that they were lucky to have found much of the talent that came on board with them, especially the young 22-year-old who took lead on their visual effects (VFX), a self-taught whiz who has pulled off something incredible. He said that they were able to discover a lot of the young talent thanks to the ongoing High School Junkies project “Junkyard Theory”, which is an education platform that brings on filmmaking geniuses from Hollywood and around the world to educate Sri Lankan youth.
Having watched the 35-minute film, we can confirm that High School Junkies has created something absolutely incredible – something that proves to Sri Lankan audiences that Sri Lanka doesn’t have to settle for less and that we are more than capable of making our own movies that can comfortably rub shoulders with massive international productions.