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Atlantic Film Festival (Halifax NS)
Advanced Screening – September 15, 2011

The first few moments of Snow are powerful; the audience is immersed in utter silence as they take in the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, a glimpse at the motion picture’s wondrous cinematography yet to come. The film chronologically begins in Sri Lanka, just before Parvati’s (played by Kalista Zackharyias) whole family is swept away with the tsunami’s powerful waves. When she comes to Canada, she faces the dichotomy of culture shock mixed with her uncle imposing the same strict rules from her native land. Although flurried with clichés, such as wrist slitting and an awkward bachelor candidate for a potential arranged marriage, writer/director/producer Rohan Fernando portrays the raw emotions associated with loss and pain with intricate passion, through the usage of documentary-style camera angles, point of view shots and close-ups. Snow’s pace is varied and becomes effectively crucial during a scene where Parvati is given another chance to save someone. Zackharyias’ genuine performance makes up for the overdramatic acting of some of the minor players. Shot in Halifax/Dartmouth/Bedford, where Sri-Lankan born Fernando now calls home, locals will have fun picking out all of the familiar scenery.

Inspired by a visit to Sri Lanka after the actual 2004 tsunami, Fernando said, “I knew I wanted to make a film about that state of being—because although it was tragic, there was something beautiful and deeply human about that state”. He has succeeded. ~ Michelle Brunet

Snow at the Atlantic Film Fest: Monday, September 19; 7:10PM; Park Lane Theatre 4

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