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Creating a stepping stone to upcoming film makers

11 November 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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 Adding a touch of glamour and colour to the Cinema Industry in Sri Lanka, the   International Film Festival of Colombo was held on a grand scale for the 2nd consecutive year. It began with a grand inauguration ceremony   at the Regal Cinema last Friday (06),   amidst  a  distinguished audience  including  celebrities, stalwarts of Cinematic Industry, media and established  professionals of  other fields,  also  having the honoured participation of Indian film maker Adoor  Gopalakrishnan.   This special  cinematic experience concluded  yesterday (11) and gave a  boost to the upcoming film makers to establish  themselves in the cinematic field. At the same time it gave the filmgoers an amazing Cinematic journey and an opportunity to explore the world Cinema.

The festival began with the opening film, ‘’Dheepan’’ which was directed by French film maker Jaques  Audiard  won the prestigious ‘’ Palme  d’’ Or ‘’ award at the  Cannes Film Festival.   The film of course stole the limelight of the festival   because of its international achievements, and   also its controversial theme of a LTTE child soldier who escapes and seeks asylum  in France. The lead roles were    performed by Sri Lankan born Jesuthasan  Antonythasan  and Kalieaswari Srinivasan .  The festival featured both international and local films, of which most of them were making their debut appearances. On Wednesday (11) the movie schedule  included “The boy in the mirror’’,’’ Alone in a valley’’  ‘’Eisenstein in Guanajuato ‘’ at the Regal, ‘’Celestial Camel,’’ ‘’The Walls,’’ ‘’Life in  a fish bowl’’ , ‘’In the name of my daughter ‘’  At the National Film Corporation,  ‘’ The Outlaw League ‘’ ‘’ Larger than life’’ ,  ‘’ The owners’’ ‘’ Results’’ at MC Superior,  ‘’ The lesson, ‘’ Until I lose my breath’’,      ‘’Absence’’,  ‘’ Golden Kingdom’’,  at Empire Deluxe,  and ‘’ When I  was   most beautiful’’, ‘’;Life is a miracle ‘’ , ‘’Eternal  Thirst ‘’ ‘’ Miracle in Tanuma Hotel’’ at the SLMTI .   The ‘’Asian Film Competition ‘’, where ten films from the Asian region which were chosen to win the most prestigious award of the festival.  The     ‘’Documentary and the short film corner’’ ‘’ The Mosaic of Sri Lankan New Cinema Competition ‘’were   introduced to appreciate the local film   directors   at the film festival.  The success of this festival indicates the fact the Sri Lankan Cinema Industry will be internationally recognized while showcasing the talents of   Sri Lankan film makers.  

At last year’s festival, film goers from all parts of the country flocked into the cinema halls to have an experience of watching world renowned films completely free of charge.  This year too, it has shown positive results by entertaining the Sri Lankan Audience with a feast of films based on various themes, and belonging to various segments. The festival is indeed a treat to all those who want to have a difference in the cinematic field.  The Daily Mirror   was able to get some statements from some   of the established members of the film festival, regarding its progress and the highlighted aspects,   and the IFFC Director, Asoka Handagama expressed his opinion first.  


He said overall, that he could see positive results and an   increase in those who wants to experience a variety in the cinematic field.  According to him the festival held several categories such as the Asian Competition, Sri Lankan competition and also the Sri Lankan short films competition.  Another important fact which was highlighted in this festival was an educational exhibition titled ‘The Sri Lankan Film Industry - Then and now’ which was held from the 7th to the 11th of November at the National Film Corporation premises. 


The exhibition depicted the evolution of Sinhala Cinema from its infant years to the digital era. Another important event was the ‘’short film day’’ encouraging   talented short film makers to showcase their work at the Sri Lanka Media Training Institute (SLMTI). Answering the question if there’s a difference between last year’s festival and this year’s one, with the participation of the film corporation, he said that the National Film Corporation provided venues to screen the films, but this time the National Film Corporation  gave its full support  by collaborating with them. He stressed that he was looking forward to the next film festival as well. The key reason of having this festival once a year is to promote young talented film makers to approach the cinematic field and get recognized. 

There are a lot of talented people and their movies to be recognized, he stated.  
He expects to see another successful film festival next year. 


The Daily Mirror also spoke to Vimukthi    Jayasundara, Chairman, Directors Guild of Sri Lanka,  (DGOSL)  to express  his perspective of the Film Festival in general.  He said that they were very happy with the whole event. He said it was amazing.  This kind of success gives them encouragement to hold another successful film festival and find expertise next year.   Those who were connected with the film Industry   and film goers had a different experience, there was a lot of expertise, and there were a lot of activities included.  

There were workshops, and demonstrations and competitions   and it was amazing to find many unions which were connected with the film Industry.  He pointed out that this was probably the only international film event which was happening in Sri Lanka.  There were films representing all continents, and describing the stories of people all around the world. It’s amazing to see the enthusiasm of people. Earlier, we had this problem of accusing our film makers.  And  For a film such as one of the calibre   of ‘’Dheepan’’.  But people went to see the film and were impressed.  They got rid of their impression when they watched the film.  He said that the next challenge is to bring the Sri Lankan Cinema to limelight and to be recognized all over the world, and be brought to an international level.  .  

 Renowned film director Prasanna Vithanage expressed that the public enthusiasm he saw was great.  The crowd gathers around two hours before the   film is screened.  
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