(DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER)
is a survivor of domestic violence. She is passionate about this issue because it’s personal. Her backstory and motivation to be an advocate for others is fueling this project. Once she left her abuser and started to heal, she found it therapeutic and healing to reach out to other survivors and share her story. As she started to realize that she was not alone she was encouraged to start writing about her experience and researching the topic of abuse. She continued to network with other women in Sri Lanka and join their efforts. She is hopeful that change is possible and very encouraged by the many NGOs and initiatives being led by Sri Lankan and foreign women in Sri Lanka. She is looking forward to highlighting them in this film. Jessica is a native of New York and has a background in the arts, in theater production and writing. She studied Theater and French at the University of Vermont and the University of Paris where she acted in, directed, and stage managed many productions. In her early career she was a performer, most notably as an original cast member of the Edinburgh Fringe First award winning production of “Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens” and also touring internationally with “Cirque Ingenieux.” Jessica is also the self-published author of “Lotus Love: A Cross-Cultural Tibetan-American Memoir” which she completed as a creative thesis for her Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College She was an educator for 15 years and is a practitioner of Buddhism of nearly 30 years. During her tenure as a French teacher, she directed high school musicals and plays. She has lived in the US, France, India, Tibet, and Sri Lanka. She moved to Sri Lanka in 2016 to start a business in the tourist industry with her Sri Lankan boyfriend and business partner. She became the victim of emotional, physical and financial abuse. Four years later she is now channeling her experience and passion into this film. She currently lives in Albany, NY where she lives with her two sons. Her daughter is a film major at The New School.
(DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY, PRODUCER)
is a cinematographer based in Colombo, Sri Lanka and has over 8 years of experience filming tv series, tv commercials, music videos, web series and also documentaries both locally and internationally. He is well adapted to both studio and location shoots, which allows him the freedom of collaborating with both large and small- scale productions. Since 2011, he has been actively involved in Sri Lankan music video productions for which he has won multiple awards, including the DMVA Awards in 2014 for Best Cinematographer. However, the turning point in his career was the creation of the now well- known tv series “Koombiyo” (Ants), noted as a series that has changed the landscape of local television. He was one of the two cinematographers who won the Raigam Tele Awards for best cinematography for this tv series. His first international documentary was “Life Among Monkeys” with Terra Mater Studios, Austria. He believes that his key strength lies in his knack for capturing the natural beauty in landscapes, architecture, and people which covers a range of styles and disciplines from bright, aspirational lifestyle pieces, to compelling, moody, and dramatic scenes. Coming from a self-taught background, and having a unique eye for framing has even open doors in the feild of teaching as he is currently placed as a guest lecturer on Digital Cinematography at NIBM.
(PRODUCTION MANAGER, PRODUCER)
is a doctor by profession and production enthusiast who has been involved in several community and documentary projects over the last 6 years. Within this time period he has worked with the United Nations, World Health Organization, International Labor Organization, Centre for Equality and Justice, Global Fund for Women and the British Council as a freelance production and financial manager for Ruvin de Silva Photography. This project is very personal to him as a medical professional who has encountered a number of cases of domestic violence in Bangladesh where he was initially trained as a medical officer. Sadly, most of these cases go undetected or ignored in these regions and the victims become voiceless or unheard. As a child brought up in a healthy, blessed environment, thanks to his loving parents, he understands the quality of life most families are deprived of due to domestic violence and therefore wishes to contribute both professionally and personally to make a change in lives.
Nuwan Attanayake is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Colombo with an experience in the fields of film, music and live events over the last 8 years. His love for photography began when he 1st took up his Dad’s old film camera to be the family photographer during family gatherings. Later-on with his school buddy Sachi Ediriweera and a few other friends who had a theater background he managed to produce several award winning short films such as “Garden of Bones” (2016), “HTM” (2015) & “Small Miracle” (2011) which attracted significant international exposure. Having to follow certain prevailing social norms of a school leaver in Sri Lanka, he set out to do his bachelors in Logistics Management & Transport Engineering, at which point he also managed to grow his talents in the field of film production which then kick-started his freelance career in film and photography. Project Angrampora : A research based photographic coffee table book publication on Sri Lanka’s ancient martial arts was one of the highlighted projects for Nuwan and ‘Where we are from’ was another key documentary showreel which he created in collaboration with Shehan Obeysekere and the band ‘The Soul’, which was an experimental effort in bringing together the nature and the music. Nuwan has been a part of the indie-filmmakers circle in Colombo and has continued to grow his talent in all aspects of filmmaking while working on documentary projects with the UN, Goethe Institut, British council, M+ Museum, Plan international and Room to Read. Moreover, he has done Production coordinator roles for international clients such as ‘The Washington Post, Faut Pass rever – The barbell Press, Star Sports and Sesame Street Tour 2018’. His current personal project is on Sri Lanka’s sustainable water harvesting systems, along with his thesis for his masters on Biodiversity. Nuwan believes in subtlety when it comes to film editing. He loves the challenge of editing un-scripted projects, where you get to craft a story from scratch with a bunch of footage that the team had shot. “The process is like solving a jigsaw puzzle blindfolded. At first you feel like you are going nowhere, but after some time everything falls into the right places, and you realize where you want to go with it.”
(MUSIC COMPOSER, SOUND DESIGN)
has been in the forefront of the growing alternative underground music scene in Colombo for the past decade. With an equal interest in being a guitarist, composer, and sound artist as well as field recording, his contribution to numerous significant local projects such as Thriloka, The Soul, Tomcat and Magnum have been widely acclaimed.
(MUSIC COMPOSER, SOUND DESIGN)
is a musician and sound artist from Sri Lanka and is based in Colombo. Through a listening practice, his work focuses on the experience of sound perception and sound movements. He is a self-taught artist who creates tools to transmit philosophies of listening, affect and the relationship to the body into sound producing. He mainly works with electro-acoustic music improvisation, field recordings, as well as sound installations and performance. Kumarasinghe extensively collaborates with musicians, dancers, theatre artists and filmmakers and is a co-founder of the Musicmatters collective in Colombo. He regularly produces music records and is currently co-founding the new production studio Earscapes in Colombo.
(CO-PRODUCER, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR)
At 25 years old, Doyel is as versatile as she is passionate, she has danced across both stages and restaurant floors. From studying performing arts from a young age to working in management within the hospitality field in Hong Kong, to becoming a full-time activist in Sri Lanka, Doyel has a wide set of skills and experiences she can bring to the table. Having placed 2nd runner up at Miss Intercontinental Sri Lanka 2019, Doyel has been prolific with the use of her platform to broach conversations on the topics of women’s rights and animal welfare. Not one to simply speak on issues, Doyel runs Dogs of Ella, a rescue shelter based in Sri Lanka, and provides aid and sanctuary to women at risk. Having been someone who has experienced sexual violence from a young age, Doyel has always been very vocal regarding the subject. After moving back to her mother country in Sri Lanka, she realized just how high the level of abuse against women here could escalate. After her own encounters with sexual predators and after meeting several tourists and local women who had suffered at the hands of men within the country, Doyel made it a point to help bring awareness towards the issue. Doyel’s long term plan is to open a shelter for women and children, that provides free legal aid, supportive therapy, along with vocational training, to ensure that the victims of abuse can find their footing in the world again.