Sri Lanka, March, 6th, 2017 (SIGNIS Sri Lanka). SIGNIS Sri Lanka is the local branch of SIGNIS and has been in existence for nearly 50 years. SIGNIS has been engaged in promoting the value based high quality films, Radio and Television programmes in Sri Lanka. Among many activities based on the above aim, SIGNIS Salutation Awards Ceremony is one of the prominent annual events organized by SIGNIS Sri Lanka.

The Salutation Awards Ceremony has a long unbroken history of 39 years and is the oldest existing film and television awards ceremony in Sri Lanka. Although SIGNIS is an organization that works under the leadership of the Catholic Church, hence under the Catholic Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka, its activities have never been limited only to the Catholics. The majority of those who have benefited from the Film production courses, seminars and workshops conducted by SIGNIS Sri Lanka are the non-Catholics, especially the Buddhists of this country.

SIGNIS Salutation 2016 had entirely different outlook and coloured with appointing of Rev. Fr. Lal Pushpadewa Fernando OMI as the new president of SIGNIS Sri Lanka, the first religious priest and the youngest to hold on such a responsibility. The 39th SIGNIS Salutation - 2016 was his first SIGNIS Salutation, and His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka graced the event as the chief guest, held at the BMICH in Colombo.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of five special awards to honour the completion of 60 years to the film Rekawa (directed by Lester James Pieris), the stage drama Maname (produced by the late Ediriweera Sarachchandra), the book Viragaya (by Martin Wickramasinghe), Rev. Fr. Ernest Porutota for 60 years of priestly service and SIGNIS.

Gracing the occasion were the Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Chairman of the Catholic National Commission for Social Communication – His Lordship, Rt. Rev. Dr. Raymond Wickremasinghe, Vice Chairman – His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Fernando and Mrs. Sumitra Peiris, a veteran film directress.

Also present were Media Minister, Gayantha Karunathilake, Christian Affairs Minister, John Amaratunga and all the veteran artists in different fields.

Many artists were awarded the SIGNIS awards under the Cinema and Teledrama categories.

You can see pictures of the event here.

About SIGNIS Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Branch of the OCIC started in 1972 and Rev. Fr. Earnest Poruthota was its first National Director. Since then, OCIC Sri Lanka has pioneered the work of promoting a good and value oriented cinema culture in Sri Lanka. It has also given opportunities to native film makers to participate in the OCIC international Film Festival.