Actress, writer, aspiring filmmaker and an advocate for women’s rights and youth. In addition to being a beautiful, mother to two children, Kalista Zackhariyas is a busy, modern-day Renaissance working woman.
“My children are my inspiration. They were instrumental in my coming back to the industry” she comments. “I always encourage them to pursue their dreams.”
Now, coming back to performing after a break, much more grounded, she is the leading lady in Snow, the opening gala for the 11th ReelWorld Film Festival a week from Wednesday at 8p inside the Scotiabank Theater in Toronto. From writer and director Rohan Fernando comes the story about one woman’s life changed forever: losing her family – including her twin – to a tsunami in a small village at Sri Lanka. Both Kalista and Rohan were born in Sri Lanka.
“It was great for me to play somebody from my own country” Kalista said. “This is a powerful character; she is strong and brave yet quiet and humble.”
Her character, Parvathi, immigrates to Canada after her family’s death, where she becomes both outsider and immigrant to relatives she has never known and a place she may never understand. “My character,” Kalista goes on, “went through tragic loss and is now in an alienating environment.”
The film’s subject matter may also mirror the earthquake in Japan that has left billions of dollars in damage and the people there in more destitute times in this recession.
“It’s quite sad; it’s so close to home” Kalista states. “We had our world premiere when the tsunami hit Japan. It’s too fresh in people’s minds. I can only hope that people can have more empathy for the individuals suffering.”
Though she is the only one with experience in acting, Kalista spoke very highly on her “extremely talented and dedicated” co-stars, who were also very passionate about Snow. “This film wouldn’t be made without them” she compliments.
Since Snow, Kalista has completed a TV movie, several commercials and is currently in pre-production for her own short film about a homeless guy.
“I love performing” she said. “At the end of the day, I like telling stories. Whether you’re in front of the camera or behind it, I love that I can be a part of that journey that the viewers’ experience. That ability to transport the viewer to another place is amazing.”
About ReelWorld Film Festival:
From April 6 to April 10, ReelWorld Film festival (RWFF) celebrates cultural diversity with features, documentaries, shorts, music videos, industry panels and so much more that includes films from Nigeria, Philippines, India, Korean, Ethiopia, South African, Iran, Mexico, with over 60% Canadian content!