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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2614

Sri Lankan youth become filmmakers at US Embassy Film Festival Camp

[caption id="attachment_4495" align="alignright" width="460" caption="Film Worksho"]Film Worksho[/caption]

Colombo, 22 August, ( The ten-day Children’s Film Camp organized by the U.S. Embassy and the Galle Film Festival draws to a successful close this weekend with a screening at the Punchi theatre in Borella of the eight short films made by the participants. There will also be a public screening of their films at the Galle Film Festival this October. The films will also be posted on the U.S. Embassy’s website and its Facebook page (US Embassy Colombo).

Forty young people from Moneragala, Hatton, Batticaloa, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Hambantota, Jaffna, Galle, Anuradhapura, Matara and Bandarawela lived together and learned the art and techniques of film making. This ten-day workshop was held at the Sarvodaya Training Centre in Bandaragama.

The American acting coach Constance Tillotson collaborated with well known Sri Lankan filmmakers Anoma Rajakaruna and Kasinathar Gnanadas. A committed team of trilingual volunteers also facilitated the smooth flow of the camp.

Eight groups of five young people each made short films that they wrote and developed. The films ranged from thought-provoking stories about sibling relationships, dangers of prejudice, effects of discrimination, eradication of dengue using the format of a ’thovil’ (with a ’yaka’ as the mosquito) and a rather tragic story about tsunami relief. One team had made their film a “silent film“.

While in Colombo the children visited the MTV studios and places of interest in Colombo. They also met with prominent personalities from the Sri Lankan film industry such as Sumitra Peiris and Ravindra Randeniya, and the young artsits Nithinvaani Kandasaamy, Premudhi Karunaratne and Sajitha Anuththara.

According to Constance Tillotsen every one was a ’natural’. She compared them to actors she worked with in the United States and was very impressed at how well the children followed her directions, despite having to work through interpreters and having no previous acting experience. She remarked on how the children seemed to respect each others point of view even when disagreeing and that they all seemed to want a strong, united country that rejoices in ’difference’.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Jeff Anderson, Director of Press, Cultural and Educational affairs at the U.S. Embassy thanked the Galle Film Festival and noted, “the project showcased the tremendous creativity of Sri Lanka’s youth and their positive outlook for the future.“

- Asian Tribune -

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