SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. — The historic Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara hosted the first-ever Sri Lankan Ceylon International Film Festival on Friday.

The three day event showcased films ranging from documentaries to narratives, which a majority came from Sri Lankan film makers.

CEYIFF was created by two sisters, founder Aruni Boteju and CEYIFF managing director Ruwani Horanage, who come from Santa Barbara’s tight-nit Sri Lankan community.

“We had no idea that this was going to be the very first international film festival ever done outside of Sri Lanka,” said Boteju. “Basically, we are making history for Sri Lankan cinema. Santa Barbara is making history for Sri Lanka cinema.”

There were two free community film screenings on Friday, one was shown on Saturday and Sunday.

The film festival’s opening reception welcomed local city officials and international representatives from Sri Lanka.

To read more and watch the news coverage of the event click here.