RESCHEDULED – SAARC Film Festival 2019


The SAARC Cultural Centre is delighted to announce…




2nd July 2019
Inauguration Ceremony
@ The Cinema Hall, National Film Corporation, Sri Lanka

4th July 2019
Film Workshop
@ Colombo Film and Television Academy (Prior registration required)

7th July 2019
SAARC Film Awards and Closing Ceremony
@ The Cinema Hall, National Film Corporation, Sri Lanka

Further information will be available shortly at

SAARC Research Grant Islamic Cultural Trails: Journey through Time and Space – Minarets and Mosques, Tombs, Trade, Tradition and Technology


The “South Asian Cultural Trails” was approved by the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu in November 2014.   The Islamic Cultural Trails is the third Research Grant on South Asian Cultural Trails and was approved by the 10th Governing Board Meeting of the SAARC Cultural Centre and the 56th Session of the Programming Committee of SAARC.  The Research Grants will provide an opportunity for the Member States to explore new research areas and sites along the Islamic Cultural Trails.  This will also act as a precursor to the Cultural Trails proposed for the future and lay the ground work in research to look at Cultural Trails as connected routes where ideas, information and knowledge travelled in all directions.  8 Research Grants will be disbursed, one for each Member State.


2.1    To encourage new research through the SAARC Research Grants on the Cultural Trails of the SAARC Region.
2.2    To encourage new research on identification of new sites, locations, cultural trails, tangible and intangible heritage associated with Islamic Cultural Trails.
2.3    To facilitate new research and new approaches to study the Islamic Cultural Trails as an integrated entity.
2.4    To study and analyse all different perspectives and areas which influenced the establishment, development and continuation of the Cultural Trails in the Region.
2.5    To present innovative measures for the conservation and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the SAARC Region.


One research proposal will be selected from each Member State to be awarded the short-term Research Grant of US$ 1,000/=.  The selection of Research Proposals will be carried out by a team of experts selected by the SAARC Cultural Centre.

The SAARC Cultural Centre invites Academics and Researchers from Member States to submit detailed Research Proposals (along with the detailed budget breakdown for US$ 1,000/=) for new and innovative short-term research projects on the Islamic Cultural Trails.  The first instalment of the grant (US$ 500/=) will be made at the commencement of the Research Project.  The final payment is subject to the review of the final presentation made to a team of experts via video conferencing and submission of the Final Research Report.  Any suggestions / recommendations made by the SCC team of experts at this stage should be included in the research process by the respective researchers.

At the completion of the research project, each researcher will be required to submit a Research Report of academic quality to be published in the “South Asian Cultural Trails” publication series of the SAARC Cultural Centre in 2020.  Academics and Researchers are encouraged to present the Research Project at a local or international forum within one year and to disseminate the knowledge gathered with the relevant stakeholders (academic discussion, tourism industry, sustainable development, etc.).  Relevant documents with regard to the above dissemination of information should be sent to the SCC.


The following themes have been identified for the Research Seminar and Research Grant on Islamic Cultural Trails.  However, research proposals based on different themes will also be accepted depending on their content and relevance to the Islamic Cultural Trails.

4.1    Islamic Cultural Trails – (Refer to Annexure 1 for Details).
4.2    Identification of New Sites and Locations along the Islamic Cultural Trails.
4.3    Comparative Studies of Islamic sites (monuments, mosques, minarets, tombs, etc.,) in the Region.
4.4    Comparative Research and interpretation of Landscape values of Islamic gardens.
4.5    Travels of Islamic Pilgrims.
4.6    Cultural Symbolism of Islam.
4.7    Art and Architecture of ICT.
4.8    Archaeology of ICT.
4.9    Intangible Heritage of ICT (Music, dance, folk art, folk stories, traditional healing, handicrafts, etc.).
4.10   Trade and Commerce of ICT.
4.11    Manuscripts, texts and inscriptions, languages and scripts of Islam.
4.12    Technology of ICT (Irrigation, engineering, agriculture, etc.)
4.13    Cultural Diffusion of Islam.
4.14    Heritage Management of ICT sites.
4.15    Tourism promotion of ICT.


5.1    Academics, Scholars and Researchers of the SAARC Member States.
5.2    Academics, Scholars and Researchers who have received Research Grants from the SAARC Cultural Centre previously will not be eligible.


6.1    Format for the Application is attached herewith as Annexure 2
6.2    Each Member State can forward any number of Research Proposals for consideration.
6.3    Research Proposals should be for an innovative and new research based on the themes mentioned above (No. 4 of this document).
6.4    New themes related to Islamic Cultural Trails.
6.5    All sections of the application should be completed (Part A, B and C).
6.6    Incomplete applications will not be considered.
6.7    Applications must be forwarded to the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of External Affairs of the Member State.
6.8    An advance copy can be emailed to the SAARC Cultural Centre – with copy to
6.9    All Research Proposals must reach the SAARC Cultural Centre by 31st October 2019.
6.10    The Research Grant will be distributed in 2 instalments – The first instalment (US$ 500/=) at the commencement of the project and final instalment (US$ 500/=) after the submission of the final report with reviewers’ comments.
6.11    Each recipient of the SAARC Research Grant must submit a research report of academic quality.
6.12    The final payment is subject to the review of the final presentation made to a team of reviewers via video conferencing.   Any suggestions/recommendations made by the SCC team of reviewers at this stage should be included in the research process by the respective researchers.


7.1    Deadline for accepting research proposals – 31st October 2019
7.2    Selection of research proposals – 30th November 2019
7.3    Commencement of the research -10th December 2019
7.4    Submission of final report – 31st March 2020
7.5     Presentation of the research to the team of reviewers – May 2020
7.6    Resubmitting the research report with reviewers’ comments – June 2020

SAARC Film Festival 2019


SAARC Cultural Centre will be holding the SAARC Film Festival for the 9th consecutive year in 2019 in Sri Lanka.  The SAARC Film Festival has built a reputation as being a very important platform and focal point for the promotion, celebration and enjoyment of some of the best films from the SAARC Region.  A reputed panel of international judges will select the best films and recognise the individuals who are at the very core of this creativity as a form of encouragement and respect to continue producing quality, thought provoking and representational films for the Region.

The SAARC Film Festival 2019 will focus on films created in South Asia and first screened after 1st May 2017.  Directors and artistes of these films will be invited to participate in the workshop, which is conducted to encourage and improve future productions.

Please send in nominations and benefit from the exposure this magnificent event will bring to the industry, artistes, vision and creativity of the directors and movie makers of each valued SAARC Member State.  Most importantly, be present as we showcase a very special part of culture and art within our varying and wonderfully diverse Member States.

As such, the SAARC Cultural Centre looks forward to receiving the valued nominations of Member States at the earliest convenience and no later than the deadlines specified below.  We warmly invite the Member States to join us, as we resume our journey in 2019 to bring South Asian film to the forefront of the international film world.


There will be three film categories open for nominations at the SAARC Film Festival 2019:

  1. Feature Films – Nominations for the Competitive Categories (Maximum of two nominations)
  2. Short Films – Nominations for the Competitive Category (Maximum of two nominations)
  3. Master Films – Non-Competitive Nomination (One Nomination)


  1. All Member States are invited to nominate Two (2) Feature Films (Fiction), and Two (2) Short Films (Fiction) for submission to the SAARC Film Festival 2019 competitive categories.
  2. The qualifying period of screening should be two years before May 2019- ie: any film released or screened after 01st May 2017 or films which haven’t been screened as yet.  This applies to both the Feature and Short Film categories.
  3. A Short Film is defined as a ‘Short Fictional Film’, for any duration UNDER 30 minutes. Documentary Films will not be considered in this category.
  4. As the aim of this SAARC Film Festival is to promote culture and embrace unity amidst the diversity of culture that is shared among the SAARC Member States, films nominated should aim to promote culture, foster friendship and cultural harmony between Member States and not showcase films that would in any way be prejudicial to another Member State.  Films that are prejudicial to another country, or that would highlight issues that would not be in keeping with the aim of promoting the Festival and fostering goodwill in the Region, will be disqualified.  The organisers reserve the right to view nominated films prior to the Festival, and disqualify any film that would go against the very objective of promoting peace and harmony through culture within the SAARC Region.
  5. The Feature films and Short films nominated will be eligible for the Awards detailed below.
  6. All nominated films must be in English or subtitled in English.  Any film submitted without English subtitles, will be disqualified.
  7. EACH Film Nomination must be accompanied by a fully completed Registration form, which is attached to this Concept Note.
  8. All nominated films from the Region will be judged by an international jury of film professionals, and their decision will be final.
  9. All expenses pertaining to sending the film in the required format – as detailed below, will have to be borne by the nominating Member State.
  10. For submission dates and deadlines, please refer Section 9 below.


  1. Under this category we would be honoured to screen films from each SAARC Member State, made by master film makers of the Member State.  As such, each Member State is encouraged to nominate ONE film, nationally accepted as being a master work by a master film maker of that respective Member State.  This would give a broader spectrum to the Film Festival and allow the SAARC Cultural Centre to showcase the depth and value of the ‘classic’ whilst celebrating and encouraging the ‘contemporary’.  In turn it will create an environment which celebrates the wider spectrum of film making, showcasing quality that has endured through the ages and its invaluable contribution to life and culture, through the passage of time.
  2. For submission dates and deadlines, please refer Section 9 below.


Dates:  2nd – 7th July 2019, including the following:

  • 2nd July 2019:   Inauguration Ceremony
  • 5th July 2019:   Film Workshop
  • 7th July 2019: SAARC Film Awards and Closing Ceremony

Venue:  The Cinema Hall, National Film Corporation, Sri Lanka


The following 12 Awards will be presented at the SAARC Film Awards 2019 on the 7th July 2019, selected by a panel of jury members from non-SAARC Member States.  The decision of the panel will be final.

  1. Best Feature Film
  2. Best Director
  3. Best Actor
  4. Best Actress
  5. Best Short Film
  6. Best Screenplay
  7. Best Cinematographer
  8. Best Editor
  9. Best Sound Designer
  10. Best Original Score (Music Composer)
  11. Special Jury Award No 1
  12. Special Jury Award No 2


  1. The SAARC Cultural Centre invites nominations for the participation of Film Directors and other Artistes from the nominated films to be screened at the SAARC Film Festival 2019.  The Directors and other Artistes will participate in a workshop intended to promote interaction within the film community of the Region.  It will also serve as an educational and knowledge sharing opportunity for young film directors, film enthusiasts and film critiques.  They are also invited and encouraged to participate at the SAARC Film Awards Ceremony scheduled to take place on the 7th July 2019.
  2. Each Member State can nominate a maximum of 4 persons, including Film Directors and Film Artistes, to attend the Festival.
  3. As per SAARC Practice, airfare of the nominated Film Directors and all nominated Artistes must be borne by the nominating Member State.
  4. The Nominated Persons (up to a Maximum of 4) will be provided hotel accommodation, local hospitality and transport as per usual SAARC practice by the SAARC Cultural Centre.
  5. For submission dates and deadlines, please refer Section 9 below


1. All films submitted for the Festival (Feature Films, Short Films and Master Films) should be submitted in DCP in 2K/4K (D Cinema) format or Blu – ray format and downloadable data format.

2. Downloadable data format specifications:

  1. Audio, video and subtitles must be contained in a single file and the file size should not exceed 10 GB.
  2. Please submit HD material in the MP4 format (H.264, AAC, Stereo).
  3. Please encode your video data with a constant bitrate and either 24, 25 or 30 progressive frames per second.
  4. The file name must not include any special characters or blank spaces. Please do not, for example, use any file names like “myfilm!@&%$§ *().mov”.
  5. To ensure a high technical quality, the following settings for file compression are suggested:
    • Size / aspect ratio  –  1920 x 1080 px / 16:9 HD
    • Video codec / min. bit rate  –  H.264 high profile 5.000 – 10.000 Kbit/s
    • Audio codec / min. bit rate  –  AAC / 320 Kbit/s sampling rate 48

If the film is available in a different file format or on DVD, a conversion to H.264 is recommended.  File conversion is offered by the software “HandBrake”, which is free of charge and available for all popular computer operating systems.

3. Please ensure that the films submitted are not defective, are in the required format as stated above in Section 8, and are individually labelled, including the running time of each film.

4. As the aim of the Festival is to promote culture, new trends and ideas, there are no restrictions on themes and topics subject to section 3 (IV) above.

5. All films will be subject to approval from the Sri Lankan Public Performance Board prior to screening at SAARC Film Festival 2019

6. Member States must deliver 3 COPIES (Public Performance Board, records and screening) of the final format to the SAARC Cultural Centre as detailed above in Section 8 for the Festival screening, NO LATER THAN 8th April 2019.

7. For publicity purposes, please include a standard Press Kit with the required information, giving special consideration to the following:

  1. 150-word synopsis of EACH film submitted for the Festival;
  2. 3 High resolution (300 dpi) images from each film;
  3. 1 Profile picture of the Director (300 dpi);
  4. Biography of the Director;
  5. Film trailers, clip reels, posters, post cards if available;
  6. Film Reviews – to be sent in together with the names of the nominated films.

8. In addition to the Registration form, please email the information stated above in Section 8 (7) NO LATER THAN 8th APRIL 2019 to:


  1. Titles of the nominated Films in all Categories (Short, Feature and Master) along with their relevant details (as stated above in section No. 8) should be sent through the relevant ministry of the nominating Member State, via their Foreign/External Affairs Ministries, to the SAARC Secretariat Kathmandu, to reach the SAARC Cultural Centre in Colombo, no later than the 8th of April 2019.
  2. Names of the Film Personnel (up to a maximum of 4 Film Directors and/or Artistes) nominated to represent each SAARC Member State, should be sent through the relevant ministry concerned of the nominating Member State, via their Foreign/External Affairs Ministries, to the SAARC Secretariat Kathmandu, to reach the SAARC Cultural Centre in Colombo by the 8th of April 2019.
  3. 3 copies each of the Nominated Films in the specified format please refer section 8 and the relevant publicity material and press kits, should be sent through the relevant Ministry of the nominating Member State, via their Foreign/External Affairs Ministries, directly to the SAARC Cultural Centre, Sri Lanka as detailed in the attached Registration Form, to reach the SAARC Cultural Centre, no later than the 8th April 2019.


The SAARC Cultural Centre wishes to contact the Directors/Producers of the Feature Films and Short Films to obtain permission to screen their films at appropriate official SAARC Cultural Centre events.  Please tick the appropriate box in the application form (attached) if the Directors/Producers are willing to be contacted for permission to screen their films. Films will only be screened with the prior written permission of the Directors/Producers of the films.

SAARC International Women’s Day 2019 – A celebration of the struggles, triumphs and legacy of women

The first ever Women’s Day was celebrated on 28th February 1909 in the United States and subsequently 8th March was adopted as the International Women’s Day.  The International Women’s Day was formally adopted by the United Nations in 1975 the International Year of Women and universally celebrated on 8th March each year.  The International Women’s Day often highlights the struggles of women and their ability to overcome them and bring to the fore powerful and inspiring iconic female change agents.  The International Women’s Day is designed to evoke positive change, promote personal and professional growth in women, raise awareness of those who assist in empowering women and give women an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the extraordinary journey of feminism, equality and acceptance in society.

The SAARC International Women’s Day 2019, will be organised by the SAARC Cultural Centre in collaboration with the University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo, on Friday the 8th March 2019, at the Dr. Lionel Edirisinghe Rostrum, with a particular focus towards women, art and culture.  The main purpose of the programme is to highlight the development and advancement of women in all fields, but particularly as artistes and agents of cultural development.  As such, we endeavour to witness the prowess of women in the cultural and performing arts, through a cultural performance highlighting the ever advancing and growing status of women in the South Asian Region.  The SAARC Cultural Centre would like to highlight the varied and wonderful triumphs, struggles and achievements of women, through cultural performances and inspiring discussions with iconic female role models, from diverse fields on the occasion of SAARC International Women’s day 2019.

Objectives of the SAARC International Women’s Day Programme

  1. To highlight the changing role of women and acknowledge their selfless contribution to the nation.
  2. To build self-confidence and boost self-esteem by appreciating the role of women in society.
  3. To improve awareness of the psychological factors that affect and influence performance in this competitive world and to provide guidance on how to deal with them.
  4. To create awareness of the challenging roles women face, often in difficult conditions.
  5. To acknowledge the character and strength of women and appreciate their place as the corner stone of any society.
  6. To appreciate and acknowledge the beauty of women as displayed and depicted in songs, music, dance and education.
  7. To create awareness and emphasise the stature and multi-faceted role of women, particularly with young people.
  8. To celebrate the glory and strong nature of women, their lives and their contribution to modern society.

The SAARC International Women’s Day programme is organised to celebrate journey of women and their progressive journey.  It is further hoped that this programme would lead to informative discussion geared to strengthen the lives of women and their families, to motivate through sharing of stories of iconic role models, to inspire and encourage the youth specially to strive for excellence in art and to make a difference to the social norms through culture, etc.  This programme is dedicated to the upliftment, inspiration and motivation of women and particularly women in culture.

Date:    8th March 2019
Venue:     Dr. Lionel Edirisinghe Rostrum at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo.  
Time:     10am – 12 noon

SAARC Exhibition of Paintings 2019

The SAARC Exhibition of Paintings organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre in collaboration with the University of Kelaniya will be held from the 22nd – 24th of January 2019, at the Senake Bandaranayake Hall, Faculty of Humanities, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. The exhibition intends to promote regional unity through the medium of Art, to provide an opportunity to showcase the heritage of Member States by displaying paintings of Artists from the South Asian Region and to preserve, Conserve and protect South Asia’s Culture through Art.

The Exhibition will feature the works of art created by artists of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the SAARC Artist Camp held in Sri Lanka in 2018 and also a selection of artworks produced at the SAARC Artist Camps during the preceding years.

With a view to encourage young children to explore the field of painting as a medium of self-expression, the exhibition will also feature lectures and discussions on Painting and Art and a workshop on art therapy titled “Creative and Expressive Art Therapy” for senior Art Students (O/L & A/L).

Workshop on “Creative and Expressive Art Therapy”
Date : Wednesday the 23rd of January 2019
Session  i) 10.00 am – 11.00 am
Session  ii) 12.00 pm – 1.00 pm
Session  iii) 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

Lecture & Discussion on Paintings and Art
Date : Thursday the 24th of January 2019
Session i) 11.00 am –  1.00 pm
Session ii) 2.00 pm  –  4.00 pm

Admission to all events is free

For further details contact:

Mr. Mahinda Sumanasekara – Documentation Officer,
Mobile: 0771053008, e-mail:

Mr. Harishnath Nadarajah – Programme Assistant,
Mobile: 0774997193, e-mail:

SAARC Non-Violence Day Art Competition 2018

To mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (2 Oct), which is also observed as SAARC Non-Violence Day and International Non-Violence Day, the SAARC Cultural Centre organized an art competition among school children in Sri Lanka. This Art Competition was aimed at creating awareness on the need to revive and inspire peace, tolerance, non-discrimination, co-existence, non-violence and respect for each other in our societies.

The paintings were submitted by two age groups; 10 years to 13 (Junior Category) and 14 years to 18 (Senior Category) and were based on two quotations of Mahatma Gandhi highlighting his principles of non-violence viz.,

The good man is the friend of all living things”- Junior Category and
What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another” – Senior Category

There was an overwhelming response to the call for entries and over 500 entries from schools from all over Sri Lanka were received. The winning paintings were selected by a panel of judges from the University of Visual and Performing Arts, Sri Lanka. The judges were Dr. Priyantha Udagedara – Head, Department of Textile and Wearable Arts, Faculty of Visual Arts, Mr. Dumith Kulasekara – Head – Department of Painting and Mr. Jagath Ravindra – Head – Department of Multi-Disciplinary Design.

The Award Ceremony of the Art Competition coincided with the 34th SAARC Charter Day celebration on 8th December at the JAIC Hilton Colombo Residencies and Cash Prizes were awarded for the first, second and third places in both categories. The winners received their certificates and cash prizes from the Chief Guest, Mrs. Darshana Senanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Culture, Sri Lanka and from Mrs. Renuka Ekanayake, Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre.

SAARC Non-Violence Day Art Competition Winners

Junior Category (10 to 13 years)
First Place
Mr. D.A. Pubudy Madusanka (12 years) of President’s College, Sri Jayawardhanapura, Kotte.
Citation – “The painting is an outstanding example of extremely consistency and expressiveness. Composition created in the painting strengthens its dramaturgy.  Skilful use of colour is a testimony to the visual sensitivity of the message of the painting.  It is an excellent example of the use of composition, colour and expression.”

Second Place
Ms. A.M. Amra (11 years) of Badulla Tamil Girls’ Maha Vidyalayam, Badulla.
Citation – “The Painting is a playful precision of childhood dreams, underpinned by shining good humour, with each character of the composition painstakingly coloured with brilliant bright colour pallet.  Skills of craftsmanship and creation of positive expression throughout the painting is outstanding.”

Third Place
Ms. Sandali Adithya Samasundara (10 years) of Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy.
Citation – “While using bright colour pallet and figurative composition in a wonderful way to paint a sensitive event, the brilliant use of iconography helps to realise the artist’s vision of supportive and caring world.  Every single motif has its own recognisable story.”

Senior Category (14 to 18 years)
First Place
Mr. K. Vidura Nishan (17 years) of Bamunugama Maha Vidyalaya, Horapavita, Matara.
Citation – “The painting is an outstanding example of creative expression.  Composition is created with an understanding of contemporary issues.  Skillful use of limited colour pallet is a testimony to the visual sensitivity of the message of the painting. It is an excellent example of innovative thinking.”

Second Place
Ms. A.M. Aaisha (17 years) of Badulla Tamil Girls’ Maha Vidyalayam, Badulla.
Citation – “The Painting is a direct precision of social issues.  The dramatic composition addresses the sensitive, social problem in an artistic manner, mixing the real and the surreal with a lot of ironic motifs.  Skills of craftsmanship and creation of positive expression throughout the painting is outstanding.”

Third Place
Ms. Shanthoshika Sangilignanam (16 years) Rambaikulam Girls’ Maha Vidyalayam National School, Vavuniya.
Citation – “Using a limited colour pallet and a figurative composition with a landscape in the background the painting conveys a sensitive truth.  The motifs possess a strong cultural identity, combining reality and fictional styles.  The painting is a good example of the use of composition, colour and expression.”

SAARC Exhibition of Paintings 2018

The SAARC Cultural Centre is delighted to announce the SAARC Exhibition of Paintings 2018 will take place from Tuesday the 10th of July to Friday the 13th of July at the Library premises of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.  The Inauguration Ceremony will take place on Tuesday 10th July 2018 at the Library of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura from 11.00am to 12.00 noon.

The SAARC Exhibition of Paintings 2018 is organised by the SAARC Cultural Centre in collaboration with the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and the Arts Council of Sri Lanka and will showcase new works of arts from the recently concluded SAARC Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings, which took place in Nepal in 2017.  In addition, there will also be presentations and mini workshops related to culture and art throughout the Exhibition, that will enhance the experience of the viewing public.  There will be paintings displayed from all the SAARC Member States of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and we would be delighted if you would join us to witness the artistic endeavors of a multitude of artists from the South Asian Region.

SAARC Archaeology and Heritage Management Training Workshop: Footsteps of the Past, Custodians of the Present, Heritage of the Future

16th to 18th December 2018
Kabul, Afghanistan

Tangible Cultural Heritage (TCH) of South Asia is not limited to World Heritage Sites and the landscape is dotted with archaeological sites indicating the long and eventful history of the Region.  In many of these TCH sites there are associated Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) which are neglected due to lack of resources.  There are sites in the Region which are yet to be identified, conserved, restored and managed for posterity.  However, the biggest challenge the SAARC Region is facing now is the lack of human resources.  This workshop hopes to lay the foundation in building the human resources of the region to face the challenges of Heritage Management for present and future.

Workshop Training Modules  
This is a tentative module and will change according to the Resources Persons nominated by each Member State.

  1. Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMP).
  2. Site interpretation and public awareness.
  3. Disaster preparedness for cultural heritage.
  4. Documentation of archaeological sites.
  5. Photo-documentation of paintings and murals.
  6. Collection management in archaeological sites and museums.
  7. Cultural Impact Assessments in Development Projects.

Resource Persons for the Workshop
Each Member State is kindly requested to nominate a minimum of 1 Resource Person from mid to senior level professionals.  The field of expertise can be one from the list below but not limited to the fields identified below.

  1. Archaeological Excavations
  2. Artefact conservators (metal, terracotta, wooden, glass, etc.)
  3. Disaster Preparedness and Management of Cultural Heritage
  4. Collection Management
  5. Tourism promotion of archaeological sites/tangible cultural heritage
  6. Architectural conservation
  7. Archaeological Surveying
  8. Archaeological Impact Assessments
  9. Experts on GIS and 3D modelling.

Target Participants for the Workshop
The Nominees for the Workshop may be selected from amongst diverse disciplines among Academics and Policy Makers.  Priority should be for early to mid-career level professionals involved in heritage management, policy makers and persons associated with the World Heritage Sites in the Region.  Resource Persons should be selected from mid to senior level professionals.

Academics and Scholars should include but not limited to:

  • Archaeologists,
  • Art Historians,
  • Conservators,
  • Planners,
  • Architects,
  • Curators,
  • Museologists,
  • Heritage Site Managers,
  • Persons working with national and local authorities with experience in the fields of archaeological Conservation and Preservation,
  • Tangible and Intangible Heritage Experts,
  • Managers, planners and staff of heritage sites.

Details for Participation at the Workshop

  1. Official Nominees from the Member States
    The SAARC Cultural Centre invites all Member States to send a maximum of Five Official Nominations.  One of the Nominees should be a Resource Person with an expertise mentioned in No. 5 of this document (mid to senior level professionals).  The others should be early to mid-career professionals working at or in charge of a heritage site of the Member State.

    • The SAARC Cultural Centre would provide the local hospitality (Hotel accommodations on full board basis) and the local transport to all Official Nominees of the SAARC Member States (Participants / Resource Persons).
    • The Airfare of the Official Nominees of the SAARC Member States is to be borne by the respective Member State.

    The Host Country can nominate a maximum of 15 Official Nominees and they will be provided with the Workshop material and the Cultural Tour but no accommodation during the Workshop.

  2. Other Participants
    Category A – The SAARC Cultural Centre would also accept the participation of other Participants/Resource Persons from the Member States (other than the Official Nominees of the respective SAARC Member States).  Air Travel to be borne by the participant and SCC will provide accommodation, Workshop material and the cultural tour.

    • Other Participants (Category A) Selection of Other Participants in this category will be at the discretion of the SAARC Cultural Centre depending on the availability of space.

    Category B – Participants from the Host Country where the Workshop is held can participate.

    • Other Participants (Category B) from the Host country will not be provided with accommodation.
    • Selection of the Other Participants will depend on the availability of space.
  3. Other Information
    • The Language of the Workshop will be English.
    • All participants must submit a Site Report/Country Report.
    • The Workshop material (delegate kit, tea, working lunch) as well as invitations to special events and the cultural tour would be extended to all participants.
  4. Nomination Process
    1. The Official Nominees will be selected by each Member State comprising of leading archaeologists, architects, planners, conservators, site managers and those working with local authorities with experience in the field of management of cultural heritage sites and persons in charge of archaeological sites (Heritage Managers) from the Member State.  Official Nominations should be submitted to the SAARC Secretariat, with the Registration Form (Annexure 1) and the Format for the Submission of Site Reports/Country Papers (Annexure 2) attached (or downloaded from the SCC website) and the details requested at 7.5 of this document.
    2. All Other Participants (Category A and Category B) from each Member State should forward their information (including the Annexure 1 & Annexure 2) through the respective Foreign Ministries to the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.
    3. All Applications must be sent through the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of External Affairs to the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu.  An Advance copy can be emailed to the SAARC Cultural Centre.
  5. All Participants should include:
    1. Full Name and Affiliation of the Person and other details requested in the Registration Form attached herewith.  (Registration Form – Annexure 1)
    2. Detailed CV of the participant.
    3. Scanned Copy of Passport
    4. The Site Report of a Tangible Heritage Site the participant (Official Nominees and Other Participants) is familiar with.  The Site Report should be submitted in the Submission Form attached herewith.  (Format for the Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports – Annexure 2)
    5. The Officially nominated Resource Persons are requested to prepare Country Reports (ie. Situation of the respective Member States) from the perspective of his or her expertise.  The Country Report should be submitted in the Submission Form attached herewith.  (Format for the Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports – Annexure 2)
  6. Format for Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports
    The Format for the Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports are attached as a separate document (Annexure 2).

Site Reports/Country Reports
All participants must prepare a Site Report/Country Reports of an archaeological or cultural heritage site which you are familiar with.  These Reports will be used as case studies during the Workshop.  Please use Annexure 2 to submit the Site Reports.  The Report must contain the following information.

  • Basic Information (Location – Longitude and Latitude, Country, State/Province, District, Town, Village, etc., a map of the area, etc.)
  • Type of Site (Religious, Administrative, Agricultural, Residential, etc.)
  • Authority/Ownership of the Site (Local Government, State Government, Religious Order, etc.)
  • Description of the Site (History, chronology, architectural details, landscape, etc.)
  • Current status (the number of visitors, infrastructure available for visitors, information available for visitors, etc.)
  • Existing publications regarding the site.
  • Websites which refers to this site.
  • Any other relevant details.

Time Schedule for the Workshop & Site Report Submissions
Call for Participation: 27th March 2018
Deadline for accepting Nominees & Participants: 25th November 2018
Submission of Site Reports/Country Reports: 25th November 2018

Workshop: 16th to 17th December 2018
Cultural Tour: 18th December 2018

SAARC Handicraft Exhibition and Workshop Thimphu, Bhutan 31st May 2018 to 1st June 2018

Handicrafts are a part of the culture of the SAARC Region, the tangible representation of the intangible aspects of culture.  The artisans create their products using traditional material and techniques which reflect the history of each Member State through handicraft.  Many of these handicrafts, associated knowledge and techniques, specially the intangible aspects are fast disappearing from the Region due to the introduction of other man-made material.  To revive these traditional crafts and to give the crafts and the artisans a recognition and value, the SAARC Cultural Centre established the Handicraft Exhibition and Workshop.  The SAARC Cultural Centre further hopes to promote Cultural Industries within Region through the SAARC Handicraft Exhibition and Workshop.  The First Handicraft Exhibition and Workshop was held in 2016 in Sri Lanka followed by the Second Handicraft Exhibition and Workshop held in Bangladesh in 2017.  The Third Handicraft Exhibition and Workshop will be held in conjunction with the Culture Capital in Thimphu, Bhutan giving the artisans from the Region more prominence and an opportunity to display their artistry and to work together and learn from each other during the workshop.

The Eighth SAARC Film Festival 2018 – Awards Ceremony

The Eighth SAARC Film Festival was concluded with the Eighth SAARC Film Awards Ceremony held at the National Film Corporation Film Theatre in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 27th May 2018. The Hon. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Higher Education and Cultural Affairs graced this occasion as the Chief Guest. Mr. Munir Ghiasy of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Sri Lanka, Ms. Rajashree Behera of the Indian Cultural Centre representing the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka, Mr. Mohamed Faris Thaha the Executive Coordinator and Head of the National Centre for the Arts in Maldives, Ms. Fathimath Rifau of the Embassy of Maldives in Sri Lanka and Mr. Intisar Ahmad Sulehry of the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka representing the SAARC Member States, Ms. Yasoja Gunasekara – Senior Director General of the SAARC Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka, Mr. Sitendra Senaratne – Chairman of the National Film Corporation, Ms. Uma Rajamantri – Chairperson of the Selacine Television Institute, Mr. M.D. Mahindapala – renowned Cinematographer and Film Educator, Mr. Ashely Ratnavibhushana – renowned film critic and film society activist, Ms. Han Sunhee of South Korea (Jury Member), Mr. Amable Tikoy Aguiluz of Philippines (Jury Member) and Mr. Christophe Henri of France (Jury Member) and Mr. Dhanushka Gunathilake – Consultant to the SAARC Film Festival participated as Guests of Honour at this occasion.

Mr. Tauquir Ahmed Director of Halda (Bangladesh), Mr. Morshedul Islam Director of Akhi and Her Friends (Bangladesh), Mr. Akram Khan Director of Khacha (Bangladesh), Mr. Manouj Kadaamh Director of Kshitij (India), Ms. Fathimath Nahula Director of 4426 (Maldives), Mr. Ali Shamin Director of Status (Maldives), Ms Mariyam Azza Actress of Hahdhu and 4426 (Maldives), Mr. Malaka Dewapriya Director of Bahuchithawadiya (Sri Lanka) and Mr. Prasanna Jayakody of 28 (Sri Lanka) represented the film cast and crew of the SAARC Member States.

During the Eighth SAARC Film Festival 26 Feature Films, Short Films and Master Films screened from the SAARC Member States from 22nd May 2018 to 27th May 2018.

The SAARC Film Award Winners are as follows:

Best Feature Film – Halda (Bangladesh)
(Tauquir Ahmed Director)

It addresses serious environmental issues of real day-to-day Bangladesh life, emphasizing the struggle of the people through cinematic language. It’s about sustainability of the life of the rural people.

Best Director – Prasanna Jayakody (Sri Lanka) for 28 (Twenty-Eight)

It’s basically a poignant storytelling about marginalized characters. The director captivates the audience through very clever cinematic storytelling, continuously surfing on the cutting edge of irony and humor.

Best Actor – Mahendra Perera (Sri Lanka) for 28 (Twenty-Eight)

For his depth, realism and sincere heart-felt portrayal of his character who gradually releases his emotion and connection to the corpse.

Best Actress – Vaishnavi Tangde (India) for Kshitij (The Horizon)
(Child Leading Actress from Kshitij who played Vacchi)

For her honest, innocent and realistic portrayal of a little girl who wants to rise above her situation.

Best Short Film – GI (India)
(Director Kunjila Mascillamani)

By the presentation of cinematic language, the director is able to tell her story about the girl’s sacrifice for her grandfather.

Best Screenplay – Prashant Pandey & Shreya Dev Verma (India) for Poorna

It’s a ‘triumph of the spirit’ story with compelling and accurate narration of true events that project the hardships of climbing Mt. Everest.

Best Cinematographer – Enamul Haque Sohel (Bangladesh) for Halda

For the light and shadow interplay of the lives and drama of the people in the river Halda.

Best Editing – Amit Debnath (Bangladesh) for Halda


For its fluid and balanced flow of the story.

Best Sound Design – Sasika Ruwan Marasinghe (Sri Lanka) for Bahuchithawadiya (The Undecided)

It accurately reproduced the sounds of the environment and locations of present day Sri Lanka.

Best Original Score – Tauquir Ahmed, Pinto Ghosh, Sanzida Mahmood Nandita (Bangladesh) for Halda

For its beautiful conversion of traditional Bangladesh music into contemporary flavor.

Special Jury Award – Malaka Devapriya (Sri Lanka) for Bahuchithawadiya (The Undecided)

It is a daring movie that pushes the cultural boundaries of the traditional Sri Lankan values, in a humorous and accurate way.

Special Jury Award – Manouj Kadaamh (India) for Kshitij (The Horizon)

For its sincere and relevant portrayal of the need for education of the youths in India, especially young girls.