The First Ceylon International Film Festival (CEYIFF) kicked off at the Lobero theater on June 10th, 2022, and it happened in Santa Barbara. CEYIFF is the brainchild of Aruni Boteju who wanted to “create a cultural bridge from one paradise in the Pacific Ocean to another paradise in the Indian Ocean”.
The evening began with formal opening ceremonies during which Aruni thanked the local leaders for attending and making this truly an exchange between countries: First District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams, Mayor Randy Rowseand, Santa Barbara City Councilor Oscar Gutierrez (who is also a member of the CEYIFF jury given his film background).
Erica Reyes, District Director with Congressman SaludCarbajal, represented him during the evening’s festivities issuing a Congressional Certificate commemorating CEYIFF’s launch in Santa Barbara and presenting it to Aruni during the opening ceremony.
Dr. Lalith Chandradasa, the Sri Lankan Consul General (a representative of Sri Lanka in the United States) addressed the Santa Barbara crowd, thanking them for attending and speaking to the ability of cinema to unite people.
CEYIFF had a very successful three day event with 10 movie screenings and closing ceremony with awards.