The Kandy International Film Festival will take place at numerous venues in Kandy from June 22 to 26. The inaugural event will be the first international festival of its scale in Sri Lanka and will attract filmmakers from around the world to participate. The festival will feature 18 films (both documentary and narrative) mostly completed in 2010 and 2011. Most of the films are screened for the first time in Sri Lanka, if not Asia. Included in the line up will be four Sri Lankan narrative movies.
The festival is the vision of Samuel Holt, an American filmmaker with strong Sri Lankan roots who spent much of his childhood in Sri Lanka. He attended both Kandy International School and Trinity College.
“I have always felt Kandy as my second home. There is so much creative energy in Kandy but there are few avenues to express it. We hope the film festival and related programmes will inspire and enable young people to pursue their artistic dreams. A dedicated team of Sri Lankans in Colombo, Kandy and New York had been working for six months to ensure the festival is a great success.” Holt said.
The festival will have a focus on South Asian films but films from across the globe too will be represented.
“We have to complete the final selection of films, but it is fair to say that we will have impressive groups. They all have done very well this year and there are Asian premieres too. It is fantastic to think that some of these films are screened only a handful of times in the world and they will be available for Sri Lankans. At the moment people here don’t have a chance to see these types of films in the theatre. It will be a unique opportunity for them.”
He also said that it will be a chance for the Sri Lankan public to interact with award winning Sri Lankan film directors. In addition to 20 screenings to be held in venues across Kandy, more special events are planned including gala dinner on June 27. The festival will also consist of special panel discussions on filmmaking and the craft of storytelling. The panels will consist of successful SL film personalities as well as invited international filmmakers. The festival organizers are also hoping to hold some events at local schools. The organizers will release the details of films, schedules and tickets will be available in early June.
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