Ingirunthu (Here and Now), my first feature film, is on the Plantation Tamil community. It is a story of this minority community, the challenges they face, the violences of the state, family and other institutions. The infamous Bindunuwewa riots that rocked the hill country in 2000 form the background to the story.
The plantation Tamil community has been long left out of any form of cultural representation. They have struggled for recognition and for their rights both during colonial times and increasingly within the postcolonial make-up of Sri Lanka. Today, they are both citizens and economically and socially marginalized working class subjects. The struggles of the community are interwoven with the demand for recognition of citizenship rights and the rise of trade union activism. The film is a researched venture involving the collaboration of the community.
I worked closely with the community in producing the film and it was their courage and unstinting support that sustained me through an initial difficult period. I trained several members of the community in key features of acting, and production technology. The entire cast is made up of people from the community. With the support of Neelan Thiruchelvam Trust, The Global Film Initiative, USA and other organizations I successfully completed shooting and initial editing work. Global Film Initiative granted me an honorable mention award and has requested me to consider their company for distribution once it is completed.
I managed to complete shooting and initial editing on a shoe string budget of Rs. 3. 5 million Sri Lankan Rupees (Roughly US $ 35, 000). I need another 1. 5 million in rupees (US $ 15, 000). I appeal to you and other interested parties to contribute toward this effort. I would very much appreciate any contribution, large or small. If you wish to make a contribution , you may send it to
Villimbuhal Performing Arts
Account no: 0070810393
Bank of Ceylon, Thimbirigasyaya, SWIFT CODE: BCEYLKLX
- Obtained Phd in English at Washington State University in 1999.
- Recipient of Premchand award for SAARC by Sahithya Akademi, India, 2011
- Recipient of Global Film Initiative Honorable Mention Award for Ingirunthu(Here and Now)
- Has won awards for her research and creative work.
- Has performed widely on the national and international stage.