Jaffna International Cinema Festival 2019: Transcending Cultural And Political Boundaries

2 September 2019


Jaffna International Cinema Festival 2019: Transcending Cultural And Political Boundaries

The malicious, grief stricken memories of the 30-year-old civil war, the Palmyrah tree, the taste of Jaffna chicken curry savoured years ago – these are the vague, yet inter-related memories that crowd us in the South when someone says ‘Jaffna’, due to the very limited encounters and engagements that we have with the peninsular. Although years have passed since the end of the evil civil war, Jaffna is a separate state for many living in the South, as the language, culture, economy and many other things have kept us at a distance.

Within the context of the ambiguous North and South relationship, it is interesting to acknowledge the effort taken by the Jaffna International Cinema Festival continuously for the past five years, transcending cultural and political boundaries between the two ‘states’ through cinema.

The fifth edition of the Jaffna International Cinema Festival 2019 (Jaffna ICF) kicks off in the city of Jaffna on September 3 and this time the festival will remain for a week and the Awards ceremony will be held on September 9 at the Majestic Cineplex, Cargills Square, Jaffna.

This year JaffnaICF 2019 consists of 70 films with the participation of 22 countries, including feature films, documentaries and short films. The countries participating are: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, UK and USA.

The opening Film at the Festival will be ‘Transit’ by Christian Petzold (Germany/2018/101’) and the closing Film will be Paangshu by Visakesa Chandraseka (Sri Lanka/2018/85’).

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Photo credit: Sunday Observer