SAARC Film Day – August 2023
The SAARC Film Day was initiated in 2014 in collaboration with the National Film Corporation to promote the award-winning movies of the SAARC Region to the film enthusiasts in Sri Lanka. SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC) as the custodian of the SAARC Film Festival movies initiated this effort to provide a glimpse of SAARC Countries through the medium of movies.
The screening of award-winning “Haldaa” from Bangladesh directed by Mr. Tauquir Ahmed which won the Best Feature Film, Best Editor, Best Cinematography and Best Original Score at the 2018 SAARC Film Festival was the first movie to be shown for the SAARC Film Day in 2023.
The Chief Guest at this event was H.E. Tareq Md Ariful Islam, High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Sri Lanka and his wife Madam Aliya Najma Nur. The event commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp in the lobby of the Tharanganee Theatre. The welcome address was made by Mrs. Renuka Ekanayake, Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre. H.E. Tareq Md Ariful Islam also addressed the gathering stating his support for the SAARC Film Day and pledging support for future activities of the SAARC Cultural Centre. Ms. Anoma Rajakaruna, award-winning Filmmaker at the Dhaka International Film Festival introduced the film to the audience. There were more than 150 participants at this event and the distinguished guests included the following:
- H.E. Ho Thi Thanh Truc, Ambassador of Viet Nam in Sri Lanka.
- Mr. Reyad Hossain, Deputy High Commissioner of the Bangladesh High Commission in Sri Lanka.
- Mr. Wajid Hassan Hashmi, Deputy High Commissioner of the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka.
- Mr. Kotaro Katsuki, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka.
- Prof. Ankuran Dutta Director of the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka representing the Indian High Commissioner.
- Mr. Nizamul Islam, Second Secretary of the Bangladesh High Commission in Sri Lanka.
- Commodore Md Shaiful Bari, Defence Advisor of the Bangladesh High Commission in Sri Lanka.
- Ms. Asmma Kamal, Trade& Investment Attache of the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka.
- Mr. Muhammad Umar, Secretary to the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka.
- Mr. Wajahar Mahmood, Secretary to the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka.
- Dr. B.M. Goodarzi, Director of the Iranian Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka.
- Mr. Deepal Chandraratne, Chairman of the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka.
- Ms. Diana Perera, Assistant Director of the South Asia and SAARC Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka.
- Ms. Inosha Asanthi Perera, Senior Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Food Security in Sri Lanka.
- Dr. Saroja Wettasinghe, Retired Director General of the National Archives of Sri Lanka.
- Dr. Wijayantha Ukwatta, Education Coordinator of the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.
- Mr. Deepal Wijethilake, Director Promotions, Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka.
- Mr. H.M.N.R. Bandara, Director International Cooperation of the Atomic Energy Board of Sri Lanka.
- Mr. Madhura Wanigasekara, Deputy General Manager of the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka.
Question & Answer Session
Mr. Tauquir Ahmed Director of the movie Haldaa joined online at the end of the movie for a discussion. The questions included the similarities of the language, similar intangible heritage such as boat making, etc., climate change issues and the impact of the movie on prevention of pollution on Haldaa river, etc.
Colombo, Sri Lanka.