A graduate of BU’s MA in Directing Film and Television, Lanka Bandaranayake, is the winner in the culture and creativity category of the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards in Sri Lanka.

The awards aim to celebrate the success of international students who have studied in the UK. Having always had an interest in drama and theatre, Lanka started her career as an actress and costume designer. This progressed and Lanka founded Lanka Cine, and subsequently began producing award-winning short films tackling social change and gender inequality.

In 2021 Lanka received the Chevening Scholarship to enable her to embark on the MA in Directing Film and Television. Lanka explains that the course was particularly useful when taking the next step from short films,  to feature films and documentaries. She said: “The course was beneficial for me to improve my theoretical and practical skills and allowed me to enhance my creative approaches to the process of filmmaking. These complemented the practical skills and experience I have gained over the years.”

Since completing her Master’s with distinction, Lanka’s work has gained International acclaim. She explains: “My qualification opened new international opportunities for me to reach the next stage in my career. My debut film project, ‘The Hail’, was selected for 2021 Film Independent–GMM residency and Fiscal Sponsorship in the USA. My debut documentary, ’She’, was commissioned by the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) in Thailand as part of a USAID fund. My entire stay in the UK opened up international opportunities for me to grow as a filmmaker and activist.”

Lanka continues to use film to tackle social change and gender inequality and is now using her platform to connect with other Sri Lankans to encourage them to take the leap and pursue their studies in the UK.

Congratulations Lanka on this international award!