The first-ever Sri Lankan Film Festival, outside of Sri Lanka, will take place in Santa Barbara next weekend with a variety of offerings for the local community, including free tea and community screenings!

The Ceylon International Film Festival (CEYIFF) will run from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12 at the historic Lobero Theatre with 10 feature films and accompanying shorts selected by a jury of industry professionals from California and Sri Lanka, ranging from social drama to supernatural thriller. Apart from the free screenings, tickets for regular screenings are $12 and can be purchased at with the full program guide available here.

Ceylon was the name for Sri Lanka, an idyllic, tear-drop-shaped island off the Southern tip of India, until 1972. Why use the word “Ceylon” instead of “Sri Lanka” for the film festival? Boteju notes that the word perhaps harkens back to a time when the country was more united.

With Santa Barbara being Boteju’s home for 26 years, the tight-knit film community, and a population that embraces new cultural experiences, Boteju felt it was the best place to kick off the festival with the goal of creating a bridge from one paradise in the Indian Ocean to another paradise on the Pacific Ocean.

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