Blog Archive, page 2

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 up in London and returned to his home country in 2005. His project “I Am” (2010-12), which includes video and a website, uses the diary form to interview elders in Sri Lanka, particularly as people from different ethnic groups are ejected from the country, causing strife and transformation. The driving question for Mr. Arunasalam, as he says on the project’s website, is: “Was there a time when people in Sri Lanka didn’t describe themselves as Sinhalese or Tamil, Muslim or Burgher? Or at least when these identities weren’t foremost in their minds?” A Review of ‘Dear Diary: Update on All’, Martha Schwendener, New York Times, 7 February 2014

Winner of the inaugural Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film annual prize for best documentary short, November 2013

NEW YORK, NY –(Nov 19, 2013) – In its inaugural debut, The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film today awarded Sri Lankan journalist and filmmaker Kannan Arunasalam its first annual prize for best documentary ‘short-short’ film. “Rooted in reportage and traditional documentary filmmaking, Kannan’s film doesn’t try to tone down these atrocities. Instead, he treats the viewer to the very voices of those that had been there and lost loved ones,” said Foundation Founder and President Manuel Rivera-Ortiz. “Kannan bears witness on our behalf reminding us yet again of the power of not only the moving voice, but of the moving picture. His work exemplifies the core mission of our foundation.”

‘The Brothers Shaikh’, posted on The Guardian, 15 November 2013

Our short film,’The Brothers Shaikh’, posted on The Guardian and voted its ‘Top Video’. A man searches for answers after his brother’s murder in Sri Lanka. Peter Savodnik, Kannan Arunasalam and Ed Perkins. Source: Stateless Media Length: 14min 40sec.

Doc short posted on Guardian, to mark International Day of Peace, 21 September 2013

Sri Lankan Olympian Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam on his hopes for reconciliation

Diaspora communities can inspire peace in their country of origin, according to US citizen Dr Nagalingam Ethirveerasingam, a former Olympian of Tamil heritage who coaches young athletes in Sri Lanka. Though he is sceptical of the government’s reconciliation programme, he says sport can help heal the scars of the country’s long conflict and provide hope to the young. Film-maker Kannan Arunasalam met him in his native city of Jaffna last year as part of International Alert’s Diaspora Diaries film series.
Poverty matters blog: Sri Lanka needs citizen participation in politics to truly achieve peace

Press: Article on The Brothers Shaikh, Freedom House, 1 August 2013

Stateless Media founder, Peter Savodnik’s article in Freedom House: Impunity and the Power of the Press in Sri Lanka: “I reported the story, and I worked with two brilliant filmmakers. Kannan Arunasalam, in Sri Lanka, was artful and fearless; he helped illustrate the beauty and darkness of a country that is still struggling to figure out what it wants to be after a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. Ed Perkins, in Manchester, managed to capture, rather poignantly, Nasser’s complicated family life and to bring out some of the emotional forces that have shaped his thinking about his brother. Together, Kannan and Ed wove together a story that is heartbreaking, mystifying, awful, and, at moments, redemptive.”

Review of ‘Kerosene’, Time Out Mumbai, 2012

Time Out previews a festival of documentaries from South Asia, Nandini Ramnath, February 17, 2012: “The new batch has two standout films. The first, Kerosene, is a curio about the Sri Lankan civil war, which ended in March 2009 … The crisp images, precisely composed shots and desaturated colour palette conjure up a city caught in a time warp … Resilience is expressed through tinkering. Mechanics and drivers run cars on kerosene. Editors print the news on whatever is available in the market, including school notebook paper and cardboard.  … Despondency and the prospect of eventual defeat hang over the determination of the Tamilians to tinker away in the face of hostility and hatred.”