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Colombo International Film Festival to boost Sri Lanka’s cinema industry  

June 21, Colombo (LNW): In a bid to rejuvenate the Sri Lankan film sector declaring it as a formal industry whilst positioning the country as a major tourist hub in South Asia, the Government has decided to host the Colombo International Film Festival. 

Organised under the sponsorship of the National Film Corporation (NFC) and the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the film festival is set to take place from 8-14 July in Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s film production, distribution and screening at cinema halls will be given an official recognition as an industry by overhauling and modernising the outdated national film corporation, Finance Ministry sources divulged.

A cabinet memorandum will also be presented soon giving prominence to the entertainment sector including cinemas for its consideration as a formal industry while scrapping the entertainment levy on the directions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. This would include entertainment taxes on hotel events and open-air shows.

The aim is to transform the National Film Corporation into a film and tele-drama industry development company by leveraging modern technology to provide state assistance to boost local cinema attracting foreign direct investments

The Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday approved the joint proposal by Mass Media Minister Bandula Gunawardena and Tourism Minister Harin Fernando to host the Colombo International Film Festival. 

Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena announced the festival will feature over 34 award-winning films from a variety of countries, including Iran, France, India, South Korea, China, Japan and Germany.

“The primary objective is to popularise global cinematography in the country by creating a revival in the Sri Lankan film industry, as well as making the destination a tourist hub in South Asia by gaining high tourist attraction,” he stated.

The film festival promises a rich cultural experience for Sri Lankan audiences and film enthusiasts, offering them access to a diverse array of international films. 

In addition to the screenings, the Cabinet Co-Spokesman said the festival has attracted the participation of many international judges, further underscoring its significance on the global film festival circuit. 

The involvement of these judges is expected to enhance the festival’s prestige and provide insights into the standards and trends of global cinema.

“This initiative also provides an invaluable opportunity for film students to gain a deeper understanding and experience of global cinematography,” Gunawardena added. 

He said the Colombo International Film Festival is anticipated to not only boost the local film industry but also significantly contribute to the tourism sector by drawing movie buffs and tourists from around the world. 

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