Ganga Addara (English : Beside the River) was a 1980 Sinhalese language film directed by Sumitra Peiris and produced by Sumathi Films. The film stars Vasanthi Chathurani and late Vijaya Kumaratunga in the lead roles. Adapted from a novel by Letitia Botejue, its script was written by veteran director Tissa Abeysekara. The music and english lyrics('Banks of the River') were composed by Nimal Mendis. It was translated into Sinhala by Augustus Vinayagaratnam and was sung by Vijaya Kumaratunga, who also made his mark as a playback singer. Ganga Addara, which was the second production of Sumathi Films was set in Kandy, colonial Sri Lanka. Its plot is about a tragic love story between a boy and his uncle's daughter, where all the incidents take place around river Kalani, a famous river in Sri Lanka.
It received many awards at the prestigious Sarasaviya Awards Festival including the Best Film Award, Best Director Award, Best Music Direction Award and Best Actress Award for Vasanthi Chathurani. Even after two decades, the film, which was a box-office hit in the eighties, still remains as one of the finest Sri Lankan films ever made.
England educated Dr. Sarath Pathirana (Vijaya Kumaratunga), who is willing to try out new methods to treat his patients, is directed towards a special patient by the Head Doctor (Henry Jayasena) at the mental hospital. This patient is a beautiful girl named Nirmala (Vasanthi Chathurani), who does not speak a single word nor trouble anyone excessively unlike any other patient at the hospital.