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Live through civil war era in Sri Lanka at this film festival

Speaking on the occasion, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, renowned director general, cultural affairs, film director, actor, producer, and playwright from Sri Lanka said that most of the Sri Lankan films that will be screened in the festival are by directors who have never studied film-making at a film school or academy.

pune Updated: Aug 11, 2018 17:21 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,civil,war
Dharmasiri Bandaranayake (second from right), veteran Sri Lankan film director, inaugurated the four-day Sri Lankan film festival on Friday.(RAVINDRA JOSHI/HT PHOTO)

This trip is one of reminiscence. I was here in 1986 for the film appreciation course organised by National film archive of India (NFAI),” said Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, renowned director general, cultural affairs, film director, actor, producer, and playwright from Sri Lanka, in Pune on Friday. He was speaking as the chief guest at the four-day Sri Lankan film festival, organised by the Pune International Centre (PIC). The festival is open to all.

Speaking on the occasion, Bandaranayake said that most of the Sri Lankan films that will be screened in the festival are by directors who have never studied film-making at a film school or academy. “There is no better opportunity to watch such exquisite and different viewpoints through films.”

Latika Padgaonkar, who co-curated the festival with Ashley Ratnavibhushana, writer-editor-film critic, and director of the Asian film centre in Sri Lanka, said, “The films are diligently curated to showcase the daily life and social atmosphere, and the way of life before and after the civil war. Each film will show intricately scripted dimensions of life through the civil war. The films present a spectrum of views of history and contemporary issues.”

She also highlighted the fact that cinema is the fastest medium to understand the life of a particular country and to understand its joys and sorrows through the artistic and intelligent way of filmmaking.

Santosh Ajmera, officer on special duty (OSD), National film heritage mission (NFHM), said, “NFAI is happy to host the first-of-its-kind film festival from our neighbouring country Sri Lanka. We have only three films from Sri Lanka in our archives, with the most famous film being Nidhanaya, made by film-maker Dr Lester James Peres. Peres is hailed as one of the fathers of Asian cinema. We urge Sri Lankan film-makers to donate their films for preservation and add to our collection.”

NFAI is also organising a poster exhibition in Colombo on the occasion of the 72nd Independence day of India in order to promote Indian film culture.

The inaugural film screened was Prasanna Vithanage’s With You,Without You. Made in 2012, it has won many international accolades.

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 17:20 IST