Motion under a spell | Daily News

Motion under a spell

It is now the Sri Lankan movie aficionados’ opportunity to explore the world of cinema indigenous to the South Asian region. The SAARC Cultural Centre in Colombo invites us to travel through the eyes of the filmmakers and experience the artistry and unique creativity of the South Asian film industry.

The festival is unique to the Region and one that has caused interest and excitement amongst the people of South Asia since 2011. The SAARC Cultural Centre is now geared to take it to the world, through the portal of South Asia and build it into a truly magnificent and international festival experience. The message of tolerance and the power of film are easily experienced through the screen with every member state given the opportunity to screen their best creations and form a vibrant montage and tapestry of meaningful films. The filmmakers, on the other hand, are also invited to take part in workshops held to encourage and improve future cinematic works.

The 2019 edition of the SAARC Film Festival will be held from July 2 to 7 at Sri Lanka National Film Corporation Cinema Hall. Five movies from each member states have been nominated for the screening at the Festival. Apart from this, a workshop called Master class has been organised for the film enthusiasts to meet and discuss the film industry-related issues. The Master Class, a key event of the festival, is conducted by the Jury members. The spotlight of the 2016 master class was on scriptwriting. The 2017 session was an enlightening brainstorming session for the intended filmmakers who dream of entering their works to an international festival and reach a global audience. At the moment, only a few Sri Lankan filmmakers are familiar with international film festivals. He adds that the session will be a resourceful meeting place to learn the ropes. This year’s Master class is focusing on why do we need funding for independent cinema.

Initiated in 2011, the SAARC Film Festival has been consecutively held. The festival has been praised for screening the cream of the SAARC regional cinema. The film festival is a result of the centre’s objective of keeping with its mandate of promoting culture in the region through different modes of art. The festival offers the opportunity to the SAARC Member States to feature their aesthetic splendour through motion picture. A jury of cinema veterans will handpick the best works as a token of encouragement to uphold quality as well as quantity.

SAARC Cultural Centre was established as a result of a regional decision taken by the heads of its member states. The Cultural Centre, in essence, encourages reconciliation among different cultures to unite people of different regions. And that calls for one unique identity of the whole South Asian region.

According to the Centre’s mission, it is intended to function as a major meeting point for the artistic communities of the member states.

The Centre will provide the necessary facilities and conditions for individuals and groups in various fields of interest to meet and interact in a conducive environment. It is intended to cater to all forms of art such as performing arts (dance, music, drama, theatre, puppetry and folk culture), visual art (painting, sculpture, filmmaking, photography) and literature according to the provisions made in the SAARC Agenda for Culture.

The festival is unique to the Region and one that has caused interest and excitement amongst the people of South Asia since 2011. The SAARC Cultural Centre is now geared to take it to the world, through the portal of South Asia and build it into a truly magnificent and international festival experience. The message of tolerance and the power of film are easily experienced through the screen with every member state given the opportunity to screen their best creations and form a vibrant montage and tapestry of meaningful films.

The filmmakers, on the other hand, are also invited to take part in workshops held to encourage and improve future cinematic works.

The Festival has grown over the years and this year for the ninth consecutive time, the Festival hopes to expand with workshops and parallel events that would further enhance South Asian Cinema. The Festival taking on a professional dimension will be organising a workshop that helps to encourage networking and interaction between those who are involved in the film industry. This provides filmmakers and producers from the region within the forum for discussing various challenges and opportunities that the film industry has brought forth.

The SAARC Film Festival organised by the SAARC Cultural Centre, which is held annually in Colombo, remains an attractive film festival in the country for promoting the best films from the SAARC region. The festival celebrates the best of South Asian talent, from feature films to short films depicting the manifold cultural traits the region has to offer. It is also a platform for understanding and savouring of culture through them the medium of cinema. The films from the different SAARC Countries are not merely a form of entertainment, but rather one of cultural awareness as well as a media that would convey an inherent message indigenous to a particular member state of SAARC region.

The Film Festival will give all members states an opportunity to screen some of the best films from the respective country. This is also a unique opportunity for the general public of Sri Lanka to view some of the best films from the SAARC region. Awards will e given to the Best Feature and Short Film will be judged by a panel of international jury consisting Philippines, Korea and Indonesia.

The focus of the SAARC Film Festival 2019 is on films created in South Asia and first screened after May 1, 2017. Directors and artists of these films will be invited to participate in the workshop, which is conducted to encourage and improve future productions.

The SAARC Film Festival is a treat to all film enthusiasts since it is open to the public free of charge. 



 

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