The Story of One 19 mins | 2012 | Sri Lanka
Dir: Kannan Arunasalam
As the war raged in the 1990s, 8,000 cases of disappearances were recorded in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka, carried out by both the state security forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels. Bodies were never found and no investigations conducted. But the people who knew the missing can still tell their stories. This is the story of one such ‘disappeared’.
Broken 13 mins | 2013 | Sri Lanka
Dir: Kannan Arunasalam
The war in Sri Lanka ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers. But the conflict continues. Sixteen of the nineteen divisions of the Sri Lankan army continue to be stationed in the Northern Province. Residents describe the region as an “open jail”. A former champion high jumper returns to his hometown and reflects on the occupation of his house by the military and about the government’s proposals for reconciliation between communities
Q & A session: 9 October
5:30 pm Pakistan
6:00 pm India, Sri Lanka
6:15 pm Nepal
6:30 pm Bangladesh
Kannan is an award winning British–Sri Lankan documentary filmmaker. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The New Yorker, AOL Originals, and broadcast on BBC and Al Jazeera English. Kannan’s films have screened at international film festivals and art museums. His practice focusses on stories that highlight the long-term impact of conflict, viewed through a human rights lens. His approach is immersive, rigorous and reflective, working on films after years of intensive research and production. His last film, Sri Lanka’s Rebel Wife, was shortlisted for best documentary at the DIG Investigative film awards, Modena, Italy in 2022. Kannan’s previous film, The Tent (2019) was the focus of his British solo exhibition at The Tetley, Leeds. Kannan studied experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge and holds a masters degree in international human rights law from the University of Oxford, focusing on new media and conflict. He taught documentary film and conflict at Cornell University’s Department of Asian Studies, and has lectured and engaged students about his filmmaking practice.
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At Screen Southasia, we host monthly online screenings of compelling documentaries from the region, including Nepal, India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka. We present a diverse range of films, both classic and new, that showcase the unique cultures, histories and perspectives of Southasia.