Rajee Samarasinghe

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. Much of his work examines sociopolitical conditions in Sri Lanka through the scope of deconstructing ethnographic practices and the colonial gaze in contemporary media. His practice was born out of a desire to understand the circumstances around his childhood and often navigates the terrain of memory, migration, and impermanence.

Samarasinghe 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’s Documentary Film Program, Berlinale Talents’ Doc Station, Field of Vision, and True/False Film Festival’s PRISM program. Samarasinghe was also named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2020. He had solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, and the San Diego Underground Film Festival in 2021, and the Los Angeles Filmforum in 2022.

Samarasinghe’s 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’s Doc Fortnight, BFI London Film Festival, FIDMarseille, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Slamdance, SFFILM Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Guanajuato International Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, REDCAT, CROSSROADS at SFMOMA, Media City Film Festival, Prismatic Ground 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.