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Untold Tales Series #5 – A Place to Think, by Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara

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Recent alumnus of the National Film and Television School (NFTS), Anushka (Nush) Kishani Naanayakkara, is the fifth animator who took part in Untold Tales – a six part micro-commissioned series that sees seven renowned British animators explore diverse communities and untold stories of life in the UK.

Anushka, a British and Sri Lankan BAFTA winning animation director (A Love Story), works across shorts, music videos and commercial projects, which fuse together narrative and experimental elements. Heartfelt and tactile, her films explore human relationships through fantastical characters and otherworldly surroundings. (You can follow Nush’s work on Instagram and her website.)

The Untold Tales project, commissioned by Anim18 and Animate Projects, sought out animators from a broad range of backgrounds, whose stories explore the UK’s rich and culturally diverse communities. The brief was relatively open, and could include anything from folklore traditions, to current issues or contemporary communities.

A Place to Think is a meditative film, inspired by the architecture and natural environment found at the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. The animation focuses on the action of breathing, and of taking the viewer out of their hectic surroundings and into a place of beauty and calmness. (Anushka spent her youth practicing Buddhism in Sri Lanka and now back in the UK is continuing to explore her spirituality). The film is made in 2D and takes on an abstract approach to representing the environment.weekends.

Religion for some people can be comforting and for others it can evoke the opposite feeling. I myself am not sure where I stand, but my family have strong faith in Buddhism. I’ve visited the monastery a few times and it always struck me how many people from different backgrounds are there attending meditation classes and talks. I think it’s an amazing space for people to come together and reflect, and to escape the pressures of modern living. I definitely feel more light heartened and positive after a visit, and I think it’s great that there is such diversity even in the lesser known places in the UK.

– Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara

Look out for the films on Instagram (both anim18uk and animateprojectsuk) or Vimeo (animateprojects), and check back on Skwigly for the remaining film in the series. You can read more about the other film projects here:

Untold Tales were commissioned by Anim18 and Animate Projects, and are supported by Lottery funds from Arts Council England, British Film Institute and British Council. #untoldtales #anim18

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