The Embassy of France in Colombo says it regrets the unfortunate incident and the embarrassment for the general public and for the French Spring partners and sponsors after the local authorities had ordered the suspension of the French Film Festival.
The French Film Festival had been organised by the Embassy of France between June 18th and July 14th, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Arts, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall and many others partners and sponsors.
The Festival provided opportunities for artists from the two countries to perform on a common stage and/or to share mutual experiences. In its framework, a dozen events have been presented in various artistic fields such as music, songs, dance, fashion, photography, books and gastronomy.
The cinema part of the Festival comprised screening, in the premises of the BMICH, of Sri Lankan and French films selected by the Embassy. The Embassy said that the film “Flying Fish” had been chosen to be screened at the film festival, due to its international recognition in festivals in Asia and in France.
The Embassy received from the Public Performances Board the certifications authorising the screening of all these movies. The conditions put to the screening of “Flying Fish”, such as its one time only presentation to a selected invited audience without children have been respected.
The Embassy of France had however been informed yesterday by the Board of Management of the SWRD Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation of its decision to suspend the French Film Festival on “account of the contents of and the sentiments contained in the Sinhala Film “Flying Fish”.
“The Embassy of France regrets this unfortunate incident and the embarrassment for the general public and for the French Spring partners and sponsors,” the French Embassy in Colombo said.
The Embassy said that the aim of the Spring Festival Cultural Festival is to strengthen the friendly relations between France and Sri Lanka and in no way to harm any part of the Sri Lankan diverse society.