Graduating from the University of Ceylon with a BA in Economics, Nihalsingha began his career as a film newsreel cameraman for Associated British-Pathe` News and Hearst Metrotone News/News of the Day. At 28 Nihalsingha became the Director of the Ceylon Government Film Unit, being appointed, two years later as the founding CEO of the State Film Corporation of Sri Lanka at 30, again, the youngest CEO to be so appointed to a State corporation.
In 1979, he was the founding CEO of Tele-Cine Limited, the pioneering professional color television production company of South Asia. His groundbreaking television serial, Dimuthu Muthu was the first color television serial in South Asia. Several of the pioneering television programs and the films he directed became celebrated milestones in Sri Lankan film and television, winning international and national awards.
He was conferred the Life Fellowship of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers of America (the worlds oldest film organization, founded in 1915) for achieving "by proficiency and contributions...an outstanding rank among executives in the motion picture, television and related industries." The Fellowship of the British Kinematograph, Sound and Television Society, was conferred for "outstanding contribution by service, leadership...to the development of film and television production technology."
He was honored for his lifetime contribution to Sri Lankan film and film development by the conferment of KalaKeerthi national honor by the President of Sri Lanka.
Subsequent to an appointment as Production Consultant with TVB (O) Limited, in Hong Kong 1995, he went on to Malaysia as the Executive Director of Feature Film production of Astro in Kuala Lumpur.
He has a MA in Film Studies from Vermont College of the Norwich University, Maine, USA, and a PhD in State enterprises from the University of South Australia, Adelaide.
His wife, Kalyani, is a Consultant Anesthetist. His only son, Mathisha, is a Multimedia Computer Graphics Designer in Australia.