Your Touch Makes Others Invisible is a hybrid documentary that focuses on the casualties and enforced disappearances through 26 years of civil war in Sri Lanka. The film fuses first hand accounts and vérité observations with narrative and performative elements. The fictional narrative thread of the film focuses on the mysterious disappearance of a young boy at the hands of a supernatural force which haunts a small Tamil community in Northern Sri Lanka. Through a close collaboration with locals, the film develops and threads this fiction into the reality of the situation there. The film follows the lives of the Tamil locals whilst observing rituals and everyday interactions. Interviews expand on their experiences during and after the war within the framework of the disappearances. Politically-inflected performances or “happenings” developed and enacted by locals describe the different aspects of their lives. The film weaves together the many personal narratives of loss with broader observations on current political and social conditions within the Tamil community in the post-war era. In tandem with a quest for answers and accountability, the film constructs a stark portrait of the lasting effects of the civil war now a decade after its conclusion.


THE FILMMAKERS:

Rajee Samarasinghe (Director, Writer, Co-cinematographer, & editor) is a Sri Lankan filmmaker and visual artist. Some of his recent work examines contemporary ethnographic practices through associations of family and heritage. He received his BFA from the University of California San Diego and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.

Rajee's work has been exhibited at venues internationally including the BFI London Film Festival, FIDMarseille, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Ann Arbor Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, CROSSROADS at SFMOMA, REDCAT, Media City Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Havana Film Festival, Message to Man, Internationales Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, L'Alternativa, Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and San Diego Asian Film Festival among many others.

He's received the “Arri -Film House Award for Visionary Filmmaking” at the Athens International Film + Video Festival, the "Vimeo-Audience Award" at the CROSSROADS Film Festival at SFMOMA, and a“Jury Award” at the Sydney Underground Film Festival. Rajee’s work is distributed by CFMDC in Toronto and Light Cone in Paris.

Solomon Turner (Co-producer, Co-cinematographer) grew up in Boston and currently lives in Los Angeles. He is a filmmaker, cinematographer, producer and co-founder of Hello Benjamin Films, an award winning film production company. Turner received his BA in Cinema Studies from Oberlin College and an MFA in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts. Most recently, he served as cinematographer for Edgar Arceneaux's multimedia play Until, Until, Until..., which was awarded the McLaren Award at NYC Performa 15. Turner’s work has been featured on IndieWire and has screened at the REDCAT Theatre and Poetic Research Bureau (Los Angeles), Art Basel Miami, and Vienna International Film Festival.

Maggie Corona-Goldstein (Co-producer) is a producer, actor, and co-founder of Hello Benjamin Films. She was the 2016 recipient of the NEA funded LA Stage Advance grant by the Department of Cultural Affairs for the City of Los Angeles. As an actor, her films have been screened at the XIV Cine Pobre Film Festival, the REDCAT Theatre, Visions du Reel, Blackstar Film Festival ,and the SXSW Film Festival. As a producer, her work explores arts and activism, with a focus on social issues and community development. She has also served as a Program Coordinator in non-profit arts education, facilitating standards-based, multidisciplinary arts education workshops for youth throughout Los Angeles County. She holds an MFA in Theatre from the California Institut eof the Arts, and a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from the University of Oregon. She lives in Los Angeles.

Rasika Ruwanpathirana (Sound Recordist, & Research Assistant) is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and motion picture sound professional born and raised in Sri Lanka. He is an alumnus of the MFA Film Directing program at the California Institute of the Arts. Rasika has worked with filmmakers like Andrew Ahn and Ian Samuels, doing assistant camera work on the narrative short Dol (Sundance12’), sound mixing for the animated short Myrna the Monster (Sundance‘15, SXSW 15’), and production sound on the award-winning feature Spa Night (Sundance16’ - Special Jury Prize Winner, Independent Spirit Award Winner ‘17).