CHENNAI: A four-day Sri Lankan film festival, to commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Sri Lanka, opened at the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce auditorium here on Monday.
It is being hosted by the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission, Chennai, Indo Chennai Appreciation Foundation (ICAF), Madras Film Society and Federation of Film Societies of India (Central office).
Inaugurating the festival, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in southern India P.M. Amza highlighted the cultural ties between both the countries.
He said Sri Lankan art and culture were heavily influenced by India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Tamil, which is a common language.
He also traced links between Tamil and Sri Lankan cinema. Noting that several movies were made in collaboration with India since the origin of Sri Lankan cinema in 1925, he said a Tamil actress from Jaffna, Thavamani Devi, set the trend by acting in a film ‘Vanamohini’ produced in India during 1940s.
Mr. Amza said several people in the Tamil film fraternity shared ties with Sri Lanka. Some of them were former Tamil Nadu chief minister and actor M.G. Ramachandran, who was born in Kandy, and cinematographer Balu Mahendra, also born in Sri Lanka. Tamil actors R. Radhika Sarathkumar and Pooja were among the others who have strong relationship with Sri Lanka.
He said the Sri Lankan government was keen on collaborative efforts from south India to strengthen the ties between the countries.
On the festival, he said it would feature five films with a range of themes, from a story of young girl trying to find her parents to the one of two boys belonging to different backgrounds and their friendship.
Actor Srikanth said Sri Lankan films were as much a visual delight as the country. Director (Finance) of Vestas Wind Technology (India) S. Rengarajan, Vandana Srikanth, ICAF president S. Kannan and ICAF’s general secretary E. Thangaraj participated.