TV Times

European cinematic gems shine around the country

By Susitha R. Fernando

One of the much awaited events in the cinematic calendar of Sri Lanka, the European film festival has come alive with variety and diversity extending the festival to new venues. The festival limited to Colombo in most of the previous years will travel to other corners of the country; Northern- Jaffna, down south- Galle and hill country- Kandy following its present screening in Colombo.

Starting October 1, the festival will share a total of 23 cinematic experiences at two venues -- National Film Corporation cinema and Goethe Institute, Colombo- 7 parallely. With the aim to share a wide range of cinematic experiences, the festival this year is split in to two sections- Premium line, a recently released European cinema productions with half of them 35 mm copies and the second section- Children line, focusing on children and youth cinema.

Another highlight of this year’s festival programme is the screening of the award winning documentary ‘Chandani; The Daughter of the Elephant Whisper’, the story of a 16-year old Sri Lankan girl who wanted to become a mahout liker her father. Directed by German filmmaker Arne Birkenstock the film will be screened at 6.30 pm on October 10 at the NFC cinema with the participation of the local film crew.
Under the Premium line, movies ‘Made in Dagenham’ (UK), ‘Mirush’ (Norway), ‘The Hell of ’63’ (Nertherlands), ‘Clash of civilization over an elevator in Piazza Vittorio’ (Italy), ‘Will You Marry Us?’ (Switzerland), ‘Aagaya Pookkal’ (The Tamil version of Prasanna Vithanage’s Akasa Kusum-Sri Lanka), ‘Queen to play’ (France), ‘The Orange Girl’ (Norway) and ‘Chandani’ (Germany) will be screened from October 2, today to October 10 at 6.30 pm at NFC cinema. At the Goethe Institute during the same period and time the following will be screened ‘The Intruder’ (Belgium), ‘Aagaya Pookkal’ (Sri Lanka), ‘Mirush’ (Norway), ‘Venice’ (Poland), ‘A cat in Paris’ (France), ‘Will You Marry Us?’ (Switzerland), ‘The Intruder’ (Belgium), ‘The Hell of ’63’ (Netherlands) and ‘Clash of civilization over an elevator in Piazza Vittorio’ (Italy).

Under the Children line a number of movies including animated version from France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy and UK will be screened at 3.30 pm at the two venues during the same period.

The festival with youth and children’s films will then travel to the Centre of Performing Arts Theatre Complex, Jaffna from October 14 to 16, E. L. Senanayake Library Hall, Kandy from October 21 to 23 and Galle Town hall from October 28 to 30.

Initiated in 2008 with the objective of promoting cross cultural dialogue through the medium of film, and to promote mutual understanding among European countries and Sri Lanka, Goethe Institute’s chaired organising committee is in its fourth consecutive year.

The European Film Festival 2011 is a collaborative project involving the European Union Delegation, British Council, Goethe Institute, Alliance Francaise, the French, Dutch, Swiss, Italian and Norwegian embassies, Polish and Belgian Consulates in Sri Lanka, along with the National Film Corporation and UPS and the screenings are free of charge and open to all on a first-come first-served basis.

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