In 2009 the southern seaside town of Galle will host Sri Lanka’s first ever international film festival. Following the success of the Galle Literary Festival in January 2007 and 2008, the Galle Film Festival promises to be another world class event. The film festival has all the potential to become the largest annual international cultural event in Sri Lanka and the South Asian region.
The festival is being organised with the full support of the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka.
To announce the festival to the world the weekends of October 25th and November 1st 2008 will play host to 3 gala fund raising evenings announcing the festival and its objectives. The main four-day festival will be held in 2009.
The gala evenings will include the South Asian premiere of the Paul Schrader’s latest film, “Adam Resurrected” and South Asian premiere of the Bollywood film “Rang Rasiya” (Colours of Passion), which will be followed by a colourful premiere party.
The main 4 day festival in 2009 will not only premiere or screen up to 40 Sri Lankan, South Asian and international films but will also provide a full programme of workshops, lectures, panel discussions and post-screening question and answer sessions. The main screening programme, called Cinema1, will cover a number of genres including Sri Lankan film, awardwinning feature films from international filmmakers, including work from emerging filmmakers and documentaries.
Workshops will include sessions on screenwriting, directing, acting, cinematography, editing and the use of music in film. Through workshops, panel discussions and gala events, the festival will create a healthy dialogue between audiences, critics and film-makers, and provide a meeting place for people across the industry to exchange ideas, share experiences, knowledge and forge new connections, both artistic and commercial.
There will also be a screening programme focusing on the power of media to affect social change. Known as the Universal Forum it will focus on films/documentaries highlighting a specific social challenge facing communities around the world. The topic highlighted will change from year to year.
Since Marco Polo announced that it was the “finest island of its size” the world has been captivated by Sri Lanka - a resplendent island in the Indian Ocean. In recent decades, particularly since the films of Lester James \ Peries appeared on the international stage, Sri Lankan film has attracted international acclaim, further developing the interest in Sri Lankan art and culture internationally. In addition there have been many art and lifestyle books produced about Sri Lankan culture and way of life. As a result people have been eager to visit the island and see for themselves why films like “Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom”, “Water” were filmed here, and why the island has attracted authors like Mark Twain, Pablo Neruda, and Anton Chekhov, and why Arthur C Clarke made it his home for over five decades.
The Galle Film Festival will be held in and around the historic city of Galle and its magnificent UN World Heritage Fort. Galle offers the perfect location for the film festival providing a range of unique and memorable venues for individual events as well as providing the perfect springboard from which overseas visitors can explore the rich culture & history of the coastline & villages of the Southern Province.