‘According to Mathew,’ is a film that will be a hit all over the world. It is currently being filmed in Sri Lanka by the celebrated Sri Lankan Director, Chandran Rutnam. Steven Spielberg, the iconic American film director once said that Chandran Rutnam was ‘his most valuable friend in the East.’ Chandran Rutnam assisted Steven Spielberg in ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ also filmed in Sri Lanka. ‘According to Mathew’ is a blockbuster set in Sri Lanka and it’s all about the life, the affair and the murders by the Reverend Father Matthew Peiris who was the Vicar of St.Paul’s Church in Kynsey Road in Colombo.
The Reverend Father Mathew Peiris according to the respected Sri Lankan journalist Roshan Peiris (writing in the Sunday Times of Sri Lanka), was ordained by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The news article in the Sunday Times in Colombo even noted that Father Mathew Peiris had attended a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London, at the invitation of King George the VIth.
Starring in the film being filmed in Horana, Lunawa and Colombo is the Australian singer (now turned actor) the Sri Lanka born Alston Koch, in the lead role as Father Mathew Peiris. Vernon Corea has featured Alston Koch as a young musician on his radio programmes on the airwaves of Radio Ceylon now the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Vernon was also the first person to write an article about the 18 year old Alston Koch in his EMCEE Column in the Ceylon Daily News in the 1960s.
Alston went on to join the famous Jetliners group and tour South Asia. Co-starring in ‘According to Mathew’ is the Sri Lankan beauty queen Jacqueline Fernandez – she was a former Miss Sri Lanka. Jacqueline takes on the role of Delrene Ingram. This film is set to make an impression in Hollywood. Chandran Rutnam has already won awards for his film ‘A Common Man,’ starring Oscar winner Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross of ‘Chariots of Fire’ fame. It was well received in Hollywood. The film was produced by Manohan Nanayakkara who went to school with Vernon’s children.
Father Mathew was a well known figure in the Church of Ceylon now Sri Lanka with his long hair and white beard. People say he was into mysticism and exorcism. He had visited Vernon Corea’s father Reverend Canon Ivan Corea who was Vicar of St. Paul’s Church Milagiriya. Father Mathew Peiris also been to Maha Nuge Gardens to see Canon Corea. Chandran Rutnam an Anglican himself had met Father Mathew Peiris who was known to his family. Chandran Rutnam was filming in Welikada Jail when the priest came up to him and said that the film director’s father was the only person who sent him $1,000 US Dollars when he was in jail according to the Sunday Times of Sri Lanka
(http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130728/plus/mathew-and-me-54571.html) Father Mathew Peiris also discussed the possibility of a film on the Vicarage Murders.
Father Mathew Peiris was sentenced to death for giving an insulin overdose to his wife at the St.Paul’s Church Kynsey Road Vicarage and for also giving an insulin overdose to his Secretary Delrene Ingram’s husband Russell. Delrene was his lover. He was sentenced to death in Sri Lanka but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Father Mathew was released from prison in 1997. He died in 1998.
Read the Roshan Peiris interview ‘The Prodigal Comes Back,’ with Reverend Father Mathew Peiris, published in the Sunday Times Sri Lanka in 1997:
Here are some interesting television features on Chandran Rutnam, director of ‘According to Mathew.’