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.