Flowers of the Sky (Akasa Kusum)

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A former movie star returns to the limelight only to discover the harsher consequences of celebrity in this drama from Sri Lanka. Rani (Malini Fonseka) was once a popular leading lady in the South Asian film industry, but with the passage of time her fame as faded and she lives in a modest neighborhood, renting out rooms in her home to support herself.

One of Rani's tenants is Shalika (Dilhani Ekanayake), a young actress whose career is on the rise; Shalika is having an affair with an actor she's working with, and she has made Rani's home their trysting place in hopes of keeping their relationship a secret.

When Shalika's husband discovers she's been unfaithful, it leads to a public scandal that only increases her fame. Shalika moves into Rani's house full time and persuades the veteran actress to audition for a role on a television series in which she'll be starring. Rani wins the role and finds that she once again has an adoring public.

But the tabloid media is less forgiving than it was during Rani's first heyday, and they discover a shocking secret about her past.

When Rani was young, she had an illegitimate daughter that she gave up for adoption, and years later Priya (Nimmi Harasgama) works as a hostess in a karaoke bar, is expecting a baby, and has been diagnosed as HIV-positive. Written and directed by Prasanna Vithanage, Akasa Kusum (aka Flowers Of The Sky) received its North American premiere at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

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