Catalogue > At random

Rajee Samarasinghe

Misery Next Time

Doc. expérimental | mp4 | noir et blanc | 4:58 | Sri Lanka | 2021

This associative stream of visuals, culled from the past, reflect on the roles of art, labor, and journalism in contemporary Sri Lanka, facing a dubious future ahead. Memory and ethnographic deconstruction cascade in an obliterated form, forging a dire and prescient assemblage.

Rajee Samarasinghe was born and raised amidst the decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka. He later left for the United States where he is now based. He received his BFA from the University of California San Diego and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. His filmmaking practice was born out of a desire to understand the circumstances around his childhood and his work often navigates the terrain of memory, migration, and impermanence within the framework of deconstructing the ethnographic image and the colonial gaze in contemporary media. Rajee is currently working on his debut feature film, "Your Touch Makes Others Invisible," which explores post-civil war Sri Lanka—the project has received support from the Sundance Institute, Berlinale Talents' Doc Station, Field of Vision, and True/False Film Festival’s inaugural PRISM program. Rajee was also named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2020, and had solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in 2021. His short films have been exhibited at venues internationally including the Tiger Short Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center & MoMA, MoMA Doc Fortnight, BFI London Film Festival, FIDMarseille, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Slamdance, SFFILM Festival, REDCAT, CROSSROADS at SFMOMA, Vancouver International Film Festival, Guanajuato International Film Festival, Media City Film Festival etc. He’s received the Tíos Award for Best International Film at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Film House Award for Visionary Filmmaking at the Athens International Film + Video Festival, and an Honorable Mention Award at the Thomas Edison Film Festival among others.