International Cinema Festival 2015:
A cinematic awakening in the North
The long awaited dream of cinema enthusiasts in the Jaffna peninsula
is about to be fulfilled, when the Jaffna International Cinema Festival
(JAFFNAICF) 2015, the first ever fully-fledged international film
festival to be held in the North gets underway from September 15-21. The
groundbreaking even is presented in collaboration with the Fine Arts
Department of the University of Jaffna, Ceylon Theaters and Agenda 14,
under the theme 'Celebrating Independent Cinema in the Peninsula'.
Speaking at the press conference held at the National Film Corporation
recently, Festival Director Anoma Rajakaruna said, "Our aim is to
celebrate independent cinema in the peninsula, which is recovering from
the destruction caused by a 30-year-old armed conflict and war. We
believe in using art to reach out to people and we hope this festival
would create a space for communities across borders to interact with
each other through cinema."
She also mentioned that their Festival team has been actively engaged
with the young people in the peninsula by training them and making short
films with them during the past years. JAFFNAICF plans to launch over 15
short films made in the North during the first Jaffna International
At this first edition of the JAFFNAICF 2015, European Film Festival
in Sri Lanka will collaborate to present 22 award winning and critically
acclaimed European films, giving cinema lovers the opportunity to
experience 45 European films under the European Panorama at JAFFNAICF
"This is the 8th consecutive year that the European Union Delegation
in Colombo in partnership with several European cultural institutions
and diplomatic missions will present the European Film Festival (EFF) in
Sri Lanka. Although during the past few years the European Film Festival
was launched in Colombo and travelled to other cities in the country,
this time we have changed the plan and hope to launch the EFF at the
JAFFNAICF 2015 and then travel to Colombo and other few main cities in
European countries are participating at the European Panorama at
JAFFNAICF 2015 and the countries are, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy,
The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland and UK," Anoma
In addition to film screening, JAFFNAICF 2015 will present three
awards honouring the seniors and encouraging the young generation. This
includes a Lifetime Achievement Award for A. Jesurasa, appreciating his
enormous contribution as a film critic engaged in film society movement
in Jaffna during the past few decades, Best Debut Film and Audience
Award for the Best Short Film.
European Panorama at JAFFNAICF 2015 Italy will present a
retrospective of award winning filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975)
during Jaffna International Cinema Festival including 'Mamma Roma'
"The Jaffna International Cinema Festival is a non-partisan platform
to explore contemporary forms of creative expression in cinema.
is with the aim to celebrate independent cinema in the peninsula, whilst
creating an understanding of other cultures, promote harmony and mutual
understanding through cinema. We promote and encourage young filmmakers
by screenings of their debut films and short films. We invite film
enthusiasts, Sri Lankan and International, to visit Jaffna to experience
the independent cinema of a new generation," said Anoma. After the
JAFFNAICF 2015, nine selected European films will travel to Kandy,
Horana, Batticaloa and Matara. University of Peradeniya, Sripalee Campus
of University of Colombo, Eastern University and University of Ruhuna
will partner to present travelling film festival in October this year.
The final leg of EFF 2015 will be at the National Film Corporation
Cinema in Colombo from October 29 - November 1, 2015.
JAFFNAICF 2015 partners are University of Jaffna, Public Library,
British Council, EU Delegation and several other European Diplomatic
Missions in Sri Lanka and India. Festival committee: Packiyanathan
Ahilan, Dr. S. Raghuram, Dr. Pavithra Kailasapathy, R. Sivachandran, R.
Krishnakumar, G.T. Ketharanathan and Muralitharan Mauran.