SAFAL FEST 2019 – MEDIA REPORT (Photos by Roy Grafix)
SAFAL Fest 2019 was a tremendous success which was made possible with a very dedicated, committed and passionate organising team comprising of Ash Gholkar Festival Chair, Kedarnath (Kevin) Pagaddinnimath Festival Director, Sabrin Farooqui, Kavitha Jeyakumar, Jeyakumar Ramasamy, Saliya Tennekoon, Hasitha Adhikariariachichi, Nagendra Adhikari, Meenakshi Cholkar and Prachi Kekre.
The Festival kicked off on 3rd August with the Screening of the Oscar Entrant Sri Lankan film Frozen Fire at the Event Cinema Macquarie Centre, North Ryde which was organised by Kithsiri Karunaratne. It was attended by Sri Lankan Consul General, Mr. Lal Raj Wikramatunga., Clr. Bernard Purcell from City of Ryde and members of Sri Lankan Community.
The SAFAL Arts & Literature Festival was officially inaugurated by Mr John Alexander Federal MP for Bennelong on the 4th of August at the Brush Farm House, Eastwood and was also attended by Clr. Bernard Purcell from City of Ryde and members from the South Asian Communities.
The Art Exhibition was very well curated by Kavitha Jeyakumar & Jeyakumar Ramasamy and had exhibits from local Artists from the Indian Sub continent. The literature panel discussions and poetry slam competition was managed by Hasitha Adhikariacchichi and topics of discussion were on Media and Journalism (A Platform to Raise South Asian Voices), Script Writing (Script to Screen Journey), Fiction (East Meets West), Non Fiction (Diversity in Focus).
The Poetry Slam Competition had good participation with Tammi and Masud Parvez being declared Joint Winners and Manik Bhasker Runner Up. The Judges for the Poetry Slam Competition were Rekha Rajvanshi, Nagendra Prasad Adhikari and Kazi Sultana. The Talent Hunt Competition proved to be very popular and was managed by Kedarnath (Kevin) Pagaddinnimath, Sabrin Farooqui and Saliya Tennekoon. The audition Judges were Aparna Nagashayana, Padam Shakya, Anil Liyanage & Sriyani Tennekoon. The Grand Finals were Judged by our international guests Omkar Shetty (Director of Film Aaron) and Shashank Ketkar (Star Actor) both from Mumbai and Yasothara Bharathy, a very well-known dance teacher and choreographer. Bhidhan Pandey was declared Best Male Singer, Raman Regmi Runner Up, Ishi Yogya Mahadurge was declared Best Female Singer, Priyanka Chowdhury Runner Up, Sasani Jayasinghe was declared Best Solo Dancer, Rakshya Khatri Runner Up. Nagendra Prasad Adhikari liaised with the Nepalese community and looked after the TV Media and of course Prachi Kekre and Meenakshi Cholkar looked after the overall smooth running of the Festival.
There was also a drumming demonstration of Parai (an ancient percussion, musical instrument hand-held drum) by Drummers of the Australian Tamil Art Organisation.
The SAFAL Fest 2019 Gala Awards Night was held on 10th August
at the Ryde Civic Centre Top Ryde and was a great success with a packed house. The Hosts for the Gala Awards Night were Saroni Roy and Sanjay Bhosle. It was attended by The Hon. NSW Minister for Customer Service who also represented the Premier of NSW Glady’s Berejiklian; NSW Opposition Leader, Jodi Mckay; Mayor of City of Ryde, Mr. Jerome Laxale; Consul General, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Hon. Khandker Masudul Alam; Mr Nandkumaran Konnat Consul, Republic of India; Mr. Abdul Raheem Mohamad Meerasahib; Consul, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka; Councillors from City of Ryde, Parramatta; Jaya Chavukla representing Joseph-La-Posta, CEO of Multicultural NSW; Felice Montorone, Chair of East Sydney Regional Advisory Council, Member of Advisory Board Multicultural NSW; our International guests, Annurudha Jaysinghe director of Sri Lankan film Frozen Fire; Omkar Shetty, director, and Shashank Ketkar, actor of Indian movie Aaron, community leaders from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sponsors, Media and Guests. Both, The Hon. NSW Minister for Customer Service and Opposition Leader, Jodi Mckay praised the Australian South Asian Forum for taking such unique initiative to bring 8 South Asian Nations under one platform in the field of Music, Arts, Literature & Films by organising SAFAL Fest and said it represented true spirit of Multiculturalism in Australia.
Dr Shelton Premratne and Mr Kiran Pradhan were awarded life time achievement award for contribution to music; Dr. Chandrika Subramaniyan, Mr. Munir Hosain and Dr Sydney Srinivas were awarded Distinguished Achievement Award For Contribution To Literature; Dr. Sabrin Farooqui was awarded Special Encouragement Award For Contribution To Fine Arts, Mr. Annurudha Jaysinghe, Mr. Omkar Shetty and Mr Shashank Ketkar were awarded the SAFAL Recognition Awards For Contribution to Film and Media. The highlights of the Festival were dazzling Dance Performances by Sasani Jayasinghe (Best Solo Dancer SAFAL Fest Talent Hunt 2019) and her group for the curtain raiser, dancing to the music of 8 South Asian Nations; Maathra dance studio (Dulan Weerasekara and his dancers); Shivastuti painting by artist Sarjerao Patil to the rhythm of Marathi dance celebrating virtues of Indian Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj choreographed by Prachiti Limaye; Bangladesh Band with Folk Music and Dance presentation by Aprita Shome Choudhary; Bollywood Medley by Dancers from Elegant Creation; Nepali solo folk dance by Rakshya Khatri; Singing performances by SAFAL Fest 2019 Best Female Singer Ishi Yogya Mahadurge and Best Male Singer Bidhan Pandey; and Duet Singing Performance by Gorkha Paltan (Dil Tamang and Sujata Upadhyaya). Great Sound and Digital Lighting effects were provided by Event 360 and delicious 3 course entree and buffet dinner was catered by Taj Indian Masala and Premium Quality Wines were supplied by Prima International Wines.
The Gala Awards Night was covered by Yasuri TV, Lahuri TV, Shomoy TV, Indian Down Under, Desi Australia and the Photography by Roy Gunaratne of RoyGrafix. The Gala Award Night ended with the Dance Floor Open for Dancing to the Hit Beats of the South Asian Nations.
SAFAL Fest 2019 concluded with the screening of the Indian Movie AARON on Sunday the 11th at the Event Cinema Macquarie Centre North Ryde which was very well attended and received.