I am an award-winning filmmaker, narrative journalist and media consultant who uses documentary, photography and multimedia forms of storytelling.
My work has appeared in The Guardian, The New Yorker and broadcast on BBC and Al Jazeera English. My films have been screened at international documentary festivals and selected as the best documentaries from South Asia for 2011-12 and 2013-14. My first film ‘Kerosene’ (16 mins) won best documentary short at the South Asian International Documentary Festival 2013, Seattle. My subsequent documentary short ‘The Story of One’ (19 mins) won the inaugural Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation grant prize, 2013.
I have over 5 years of experience in media production working for a variety of clients and under different grants including the Ford Foundation, the US State Department and the World Bank. In addition, I have 8 years of experience of working in media restrictive, conflict and post-conflict environments, during which I conceptualised and developed award-winning new media narrative projects. I am also a qualified media and human rights lawyer and a former correspondent for Radio Netherlands Worldwide (4 years). I studied psychology at the University of Cambridge and international human rights at the University of Oxford, focusing on new media and conflict.
I am available to work internationally, and especially in Asia and Europe.
USIP screening of Myanmar Portraits of Diversity, Washington DC, 9 April 2015
‘News from Jaffna’ commissioned Al Jazeera English, broadcast on 29 September 2014
‘News from Jaffna’ (25 mins) was commissioned by Al Jazeera English, under its Viewfinder Asia programme, and first broadcast on 29 September 2014. A young reporter dares to cover press freedom in one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists – Sri Lanka.
‘News from Jaffna’, commissioned by Al Jazeera English, first broadcast on 29 September 2014
Screenings and Q&A, ‘New South Asian Documentary: On and Off Screen’, New York University, 25-27 September 2015
Screening/Presentation: A selection of work by Kannan Arunasalam followed by Q&A with Kannan Arunasalam and Vasuki Nesiah (Gallatin Human Rights Initiative). ‘New South Asian Documentary: On and Off Screen’, New York University, New York, 25-27 September 2015
‘The Story of One’ selected for Travelling Film South Asia, 2014
After each FSA festival, a package of 8-10 films are selected to travel across the Subcontinent and the world as the at more than 50 international venues”>Travelling Film Southasia (TFSA) package.’The Story of One’ also won the inaugural Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation grant prize for documentary film in 2013.
‘The Singing Fish of Batticaloa’, BBC Radio 4
The search for an elusive watery wonder in the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s civil war. Broadcast Monday 28th July 2014, 11:00 am Produced by Cicely Fell and Kannan Arunasalam Photography by Kannan Arunasalam, Cicely Fell, Thangavel Sakthiyalingam Music By Adam Nicholas A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.
TRAILER: Myanmar Portraits of Diversity
A series of video portraits celebrating Myanmar’s religious diversity. Directed by Kannan Arunasalam Filmed & edited by Ed Perkins & Kannan Arunasalam Sound & grade by Jeremy Hogg Music by Adam Nicholas Commissioned by the Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies
COMING SOON: Myanmar ‘Portraits of Diversity’
A series of short video portraits that seeks to highlight and celebrate Myanmar’s diversity of religious communities. Directed by Kannan Arunasalam Filmed & edited by Ed Perkins & Kannan Arunasalam Commissioned by the Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies
Review of ‘I Am’ in New York Times, 7 February 2014
“For viewers halfway around the world, “I Am” offers both a rich portrait of a region through the eyes of its elders, as well as a reminder of how, when racial or ethnic differences are put in the foreground, they overshadow both public and private life. Kannan Arunasalam is a Sri Lankan-born artist who grew [...]
A selection of photographs from my portfolio from Sri Lanka and Burma 2010-2014. Please get in touch if you’d like to purchase any of these images.
Copyright © 2009-14 Kannan Arunasalam