Third French Spring Festival about to begin

Friday, 13 June 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Sarah Hannan The Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives together with the Alliance Française de KOTTE in Colombo have put together an electrifying line up which brings together French artistes from France and well-known Sri Lankan artistes. This multi-disciplinary festival is for the most part free of charge and open to the public. It will be held from 19 June to 15 July in Colombo in various venues including: Park Street Mews, Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, National Film Corporation and Sri Lanka Foundation. Some events will also take place in Kandy, Matara, Galle, Jaffna and Malé in the Maldives. This festival proposes events in various artistic fields such as music, dance, cinema photography, visual arts as well as science and French cuisine. The French Spring Festival is organised by the Embassy of France in Sri Lanka and the Maldives and the Alliance Française network, in partnership with Emirates Airlines, the official airline for the Festival and the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, the official hotel, with the support of several other French and Sri Lankan companies. Music – infectious and all pervasive: The first weekend celebrates music, with two French outfits coming from France: the pop music band Bel Plaine, and the minimal techno DJ Romulus. They will both play at the Fête de la Musique (Music Day) at Park Street Mews on Friday 20 June from 3:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. They will be joined by local musical acts from the International French School, students from Alliance Francaise de Kotte, Julius, Wagon Park, Thriloka, The Brahminy Kites, Naadro and Paranoid Earthling. After performing at Fête de la Musique in Colombo, the French Band Bel Plaine will travel to Galle and Male to enable more audiences to discover their music. DJ Romulus will raise the rhythm at La Voile Blanche with several other Sri Lankan DJs for an unforgettable Beach Party. Cinema - the magic of the seventh art: the second part of the festival will showcase Sri Lankan and French co-operation in the field of cinema. Srinath Christopher Samarasinghe, a French filmmaker with Sri Lankan origins, comes to Colombo to present his movie, shot in Paris: ‘A Cloud in the Glass of Water’. The film was selected at Festivals in Rotterdam, Dubai and Montreal. After the screening, Srinath Samarasinghe will introduce the association ‘What’s Next!’ This is an independent forum initiated in February 2012 and consists of both post-graduates and young professionals of Sri Lankan origin residing in France, What’s Next! seeks to promote sustainable peace in Sri Lanka through intellectual exchange and multi-cultural dialog. This forum became officially an association in September 2012. This projection will be followed by a second French movie, in fact the most successful movie in France for the year 2012: ‘Camille rewinds’. It tells the story of a woman who wakes up 20 years earlier, when she was still a teenager. This ‘dream occasion’ enables her to rethink her life and perhaps not do the same mistakes again. This film was also selected for the Cannes International Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight section 2012. Books – tribute to the Father of Sinhala Cinema: Launched during the French Spring Festival will also be the Sinhala translation of ‘Lester by Lester … as told to Kumar de Silva’. This book is a celebration of half a century of locally and internationally acclaimed excellence, chronicling the creativity of a lifetime of the Doyen of Sri Lankan Cinema, Dr. Lester James Peries. The Sinhala translation of this unique story is a Samaranayake Publication and has been translated into Sinhala by Athula Samarakoon, Head of the Department of Fine Arts of the University of Peradeniya. The book’s twenty chapters are devoted to each of the maestro’s twenty films, from ‘Rekawa’ (The Line of Destiny – 1956) his first, to ‘Ammawarune’ (Elegy for a Mother – 2006) his last, showcasing and chronicling half a century of filmmaking. The English version of this book, launched seven years ago is a Vijitha Yapa publication. Cuisine – delectable delicacies: This year again, following the success for French cuisine during the last two editions of the French Spring Festival, the French Embassy will once again partner with the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel to invite a French Chef who will conjure the delicacy of French cuisine in Colombo. French gastronomy is renowned the world over for its quality and its diversity. Born out of a remarkable age-old heritage, French gastronomy is evolving all the time thanks to the creativity of our chefs whose aim is always to surprise and delight us. Science - and its unceasing wonders: The Amazing Science exhibition will then breathe fresh life into scientific innovation. This exhibition revives the ‘pulp’ look through a blend of scientific research, creative writing and popular culture. From the infinitely small to the infinitely large, the most advanced areas of science are now the realm of unexpected encounters with the real and the imaginary worlds. Each of the exhibition’s panels feature scientific visuals based on a specific research area. Photography – Notre Dame alive in Colombo: France’s celebrated Notre-Dame Cathedral comes alive at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery, Colombo on the weekend of Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 July 2014 with ‘Nostalgie04 – Notre Dame de Paris’, an exhibition of black and white photographs by media personality Kumar de Silva. This fourth annual exhibition brings to the forefront little noticed facets of the famous Parisian landmark, which is often taken for granted. It will then continue from Monday 14 to Sunday 20 July at the spacious air-conditioned hall of the Alliance Française de Kotte at 11, Keppetipola Mawatha in Colombo 05.