Sponsored by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies, this preconference calls attention to a group of films largely concerned with the Sri Lankan armed conflict. This event will feature the most recent manifestations of a film movement called the “third revolution,” whose concerns have revolved around the socio-political transformations brought about by three decades of civil war. Together this new wave of filmmakers represented by Pradeepan Raveendran, Suba Sivakumaran, and Sanjeewa Pushpakumara capture a complex profile of contemporary cinema from Sri Lanka and the diaspora.
Location: University Room, The Madison Concourse Hotel
1:00-1:05 Introduction by Jeanne Marecek (Swarthmore College)
1:05-1:20 Opening Remarks by Nalin Jayasena (Miami University)
1:20-1:35 Pradeepan Raveendra, A Mango Tree in the Front Yard (11 min).
Set in war-ravaged Sri Lanka and filmed in South India, this short film centers on a group of Tamil schoolchildren for whom violence is an everyday reality.
1:35-1:45 Preaddepan Raveendran, Shadows of Silence (11 min.)
A middle-aged Tamil man living in exile with his young family contemplates numerous ways to commit suicide.
1:45-2:00 Suba Sivakumaran, I Too Have a Name (12 min.)
A Tamil woman, living with the memory of pain, goes about her daily existence as a nun in the ravaged northeast of Sri Lanka at a time when her country is slipping in and out of war. As the world around her continues to be made and unmade by violence, she carves out a small space to breathe and to find power and meaning in her life.
2:00-2:30 A conversation with Suba Sivakumaran
2:30-3:00 Tea Break
3:00-5:10 Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, Flying Fish (125 min.)
Shot in a seemingly idyllic village by the first-time director Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, this startlingly assured film follows three interwoven stories (two Sinhala and one Tamil) involving forbidden love and ethnic tension. The languid pace of the villagers belies the hostility that has built over quarter century of warfare.
5:15-6:30 Roundtable discussion (Neloufer de Mel, Suba Sivakumaran, and Nalin Jayasena)