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* First ever international film festival to be held in Sri Lanka
Sun, Jul 27, 2014, 11:30 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 27, Colombo: For the first time an international film festival is planned to be held in Sri Lanka to offer a great international cinema experience to Sri Lankan film enthusiasts.

The 'International Film Festival of Colombo' (IFFCOLOMBO), organized by the Film Directors Guild of Sri Lanka in association with the 'Okinawa International Movie Festival' in Japan will be held from 2 to 7 September in Colombo.

Festival Director Ashoka Handagama, a committee member of the Film Directors Guild of Sri Lanka said although Sri Lankan cinema has managed to garner recognition among independent festival audience the world over, there is no effective international film festival of its own.

"But our dream of hosting a grand festival is becoming a reality," Handagama said.

“Although Sri Lankan cinema has managed to garner recognition among independent festival audience the world over, we do not have an.

According to the Festival Director a group from Okinawa had met with representatives of the Film Directors Guild in 2012 at the Tokyo Film Festival and agreed to give Yen 10 million to hold a festival in Colombo. The group had visited Sri Lanka to witness the current status of the industry and offered to help.

The films that will be screened are divided into nine categories which include the Juliette Binoche retrospective, Michelangelo Antonioni retrospective, Spanish female directors, Sri Lankan new currents, Sri Lankan diaspora films, NETPAC winners, Okinawa Category, official selections and children's movies.

More than 70 films selected from countries like France, India, UK, US, China, Germany, Nepal, Israel and Switzerland will be screened at four major cinemas in Colombo during the festival.

The list of movies will include includes African, Caribbean and Latin American films to offer a worldwide cultural experience to the Sri Lankan audience.

The movies will be screened at Regal cinema, the Majestic Cinemas, Empire and Tharangani Cinema.

The organizers say having an annual international film festival has multiple benefits to the country. Exposure to quality cinematic works produced from around the world make people more broadminded and absorptive and giving experience to a multi-ethnic society is significant for overall development.

The organizers also hope to develop Colombo as an international destination for quality cinema in the region via the festival. The festival will be an opportunity to explore Sri Lanka's potential to use cultural tourism as a development strategy.

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