Biography

Full Name: Bhadraji Mahinda Jayatilaka

Address: 633 San Dimas Street, Hemet CA 92545, USA

Date of Birth: November 20, 1948

BHADRAJI MAHINDA JAYATILAKA migrated to the USA 40 years ago at the age of 25. Keeping in touch with the Sri Lankan audiences and fans, he has written numerous radio plays for children (Lama Ranga Peetaya) and adults ( SLBC Guwan Viduli Rangamadala), and several stage plays in Sinhala and English in which he has played the lead roles. He has also designed many backdrops for musical shows and plays. Bhadraji has published 111 (hundred and eleven) books (including some popular translations) in both Sinhala and English languages. Eleven (11) of his novels have been serialized in leading newspapers in Sri Lanka.

Bhadraji has won many award for his art and writing including the prestigious D.R. Wijewardena Award for best novel in manuscript form, Sri Lanka State Literary awards for his English and Sinhala writing (Planet Purple, Americave Kasawatha), Golden Poet Award from American World of Poetry (for There Were No More Dragons to Kill), All Ceylon Buddhist Congress Award for Best Buddhist Themed Novel for three of his novels ( Dineka Kusinarawe, Visala, Prasenajith), Pahan Pela Sarachchandra Award for Best Stage Play Script (Rosa Paata Punchi Geyka), Alokha Ranga Sabha Award for Best Stage Play Script (Kandu Sikharai Gamburu Helai), Sanskruthika Sangamaya Award (Maha Muhudata Meha). He has also won Lifetime Achievement Awards from Sarvodaya, SLAASC and Star Trek and Kala Deepani Award from the Colombo Library Board. (Dehiwala Galkissa Maha Nagara Sabha). He has also won numerous awards for his short stories and art in various media (Water Color, Acrylic, Pen and Ink, Pastel).

Most recently (2013) Bhadraji was honored by the Sri Jayawardena Pura Guna Samaru Padhanama with an honorary title : “Vishwa Keerthi Kala Shoori”. Bhadraji wrote and directed the first and only teledrama (Dhana Kuverayo) produced in the USA and telecast on Rupavahini in 1984. He also wrote and directed the first television drama produced in a studio with on-line editing for Rupavahini- (SLRC) titled Atharamaga Navathena.He directed the movie Vehi Dawasa (Rainy Day) based on his popular novel with the same title in 2009.

Bhadraji holds a BSc in Communications and Public Relations and an MA in Cinematography and Television Production. He helped in introducing the first television station (now ITN) to Sri Lanka and has worked as a consultant/producer for bothITN and SLRC. He is a reiki Master who also does hands on healing and long distance healing. Bhadraji teaches art and drama through the Mt San Jacinto College Campuses in San Jacinto, California. He writes lyrics and melodies for songs he sings in both English and Sinhala. Some of his songs have been popular over the air waves for the last 40 years. To listen to his songs go to sinhalajukebox, miyurugee or watch the youtube.

Education:

1960-1967:     Royal College, Colombo, Sri Lanka  – General Sciences

1973-1975:     Woodbury University, Los Angeles, CA, USA – BS in Communications & Public Relations

1975-1978:     Columbia College, North La Brea, Hollywood, CA, USA  – MA in Cinematography & Television Production

1978            :     UCLA Extension  – Post Production Course in Cinema

1984            :      Passed CBEST

1987           :      UC-Riverside, CA, USA – Followed Adult Education Courses

Work:

1968-1970:     University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka   – Administrative Clerk

1970-1973:     Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka     – Accounts Clerk

1978-1983:     Western center on Law and Poverty, Los Angeles  CA, USA  – Messenger, Library Assistant, Administrative Assistant

1984-1986:     Hemet School District, California, USA   – Substitute Teacher

1987 – date:    Mt San Jacinto College, Community Education, CA, USA – Instructor in Video, Theater, and Art Media (Water Color, Acrylic, Pastel, Line Drawing)

Activities & Honors:

– Established several theater workshops in Hemet, San Jacinto, and Banning Senior communities

– Chairman Valley Writer’s Guild in Hemet and San Jacinto Valley (1990-1995)

– Compiled and edited two (2) anthologies of writers in the valley (Kaleidoscope I (1992) and II (1993)

– Judge for Hemet Valley Art Association

– Consultant and Producer for Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (1980)

– Demonstrate Drawing Techniques, Water Color and Acrylic techniques to various art groups

– Do “One Man Show” with music, art, comedy, and drama in various communities in San Jacinto Valley and Houston TX, Springfield MA, Hartford CT, Melbourne Australia, and Sri Lanka.

– Helped in introducing first TV Station (ITN) to Sri Lanka from US in 1978.

– Created a 20 minute musical program to represent Sri Lanka in the World Festival of Sacred Musi in Los Angeles (Oct 1999).

– Sang a song about Los Angeles for it’s 200th Birthday in 1981 at LA Coliseum.

Prizes Won

  1. Black and White Art Prize, Royal College, 1963.
  2. Dr D L spittle Water Color Senior Prize, Royal College, 1965.
  3. All Island Bauddha Shisya Chitra Competition 2nd prizes in 1967 and 1968.
  4. Won 7 prizes in the Farmer’s Fair in Riverside County 1991 in four Art categories (Water Color, Acrylic, Pastel, and Line Drawing).
  5. 2nd place in One Act Play script competition held by Sanskruthika Sangamaya Sri Lanka in 1968 for the play Maha Muhudata Meha.
  6. 1st prize in the Stage play script competition held by Aloka Rangha Sabha, Sri Lanka in 1969 for the play Kandu Sikarai Gamburu Helai.
  7. 1st prize and the Sarachchandra Award for the best play script for the play Rosa Pata Punchi Geka in 1970 for the competition held by Pahan Pela, Sri Lanka.
  8. 1st and 3rd prizes for two short stories in Pahan Pela Short Stories competition, 1970.
  9. Golden Poet Award from the American World of Poetry for the poem No More Dragons in 1985.
  10. D R Wijewardena Memorial Award – Honorable Mention for the novel Dona Luisa Sadaneege Kathawen Kotasaki in 1987.
  11. Short Story of the Month of June 1993 contest held by Divaina newspapers for the short story Ice Palam.
  12. D R Wijewardena Memorial Award for the best novel Pawuru Bendi Rajjaya in 1994
  13. Winner State Literary Award for Best Translation 2005 for Amerikave Kasawatha
  14. Nominated for best novel by State Literary Award in Sinhala 2005 for Padha Parama
  15. Nominated for best book of Poetry by State Literary Award 2005 for Bhadraji Gee
  16. All Ceylon Buddhist Congress Award for Best Buddhist Themed Novel in 2009 for Dineka Kusinarawe (3rd Print available now from Sarasavi Publishers)
  17. State Literary Award for Best Children’s Book in English in 2010 for Planet Purple (Published by Sandakada Publishers)
  18. All Ceylon Buddhist Congress Award for Best Buddhist Themed novel in 2011 for Visala (Published by Dayawansa Jayakody Publishers)