“Gandhara” - a documentary jointly produced by the High Commission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Sri Lanka and Siddhivinayak Cine Arts Pvt. Ltd in coordination with the Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs under the patronage of the Sri Lankan Pime Minister Honorable Mahinda Rajapaksa - was launched and screened for Sri Lankan and Pakistan delegates on 16th November 2021 at the Temple Trees.
Produced following a request of the Pakistan Pime Minister Honorable Imran Khan to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, this production vividly documents ruins and artifacts of the Buddhist rich Gandhara civilization in Pakistan from 1st to the 7th century AD.
Considered by many as the world’s first Buddhist university – “Taxila” in Taxila – ruins of which is located about 32 km north-west of Islamabad, Pakistan - is believed to have created the first humanoid statue of the Lord Buddha. The Gandhara documentary seeks to open up such great Buddhist historical sites in Pakistan to Sri Lankan & global Buddhist communities.
Ven. Agrahera Kassapa Thero said at the launch that this documentary opens up the opportunity to Sri Lankan Buddhists to see Pakistan as a country with Buddhist value, Buddhist stupas, Buddhist relics and a large number of priceless Buddhist antiquities and artifacts and that it is very timely to have this completed at this juncture.
The Chancellor of the University of Colombo, the Chief Prelate of the Western Province, the Chief Incumbent of the Narahenpita Abhayarama Temple Murutthettuwe Ananda Nayaka Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Gangarama Viharaya Dr. Kirinde Assaji Thero and other members of the Maha Sangha were also present.
Islamic, Hindu and Christian Religious leaders, Honorable Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Honorable Ministers Chamal Rajapaksa, C.B Ratnayake, Douglas Devananda, Nimal Siripala de Silva, M .U. M. Ali Sabry, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Honorable State Ministers Piyal Nishantha, Secretary to the Prime Minister Mr. Gamini Senarath, Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka Mr. Tanvir Ahmad, High Commissioner of Malaysia H. E. Tan Yang Thai, representaives from the co-production teams and delegation from the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka were also present at the occasion.
Production Information of the documentary is as follows
Senior Adviser : Ven. Agrahera Kassapa Thero
Director : Mr. Mateen Saherai
Concept, script & Project Consultant : Vidyajothi Prof. Nimal Silva.
Co-production : Ms Kaushalya Wickramasinghe - Siddhivinayak Cine Arts Pvt. Ltd
Production Controller : Mr. Sajjad Mohommad - Gateway To Production Ltd, UK