Nilmani Seneviratne is a Sri Lankan visual artist living in Edmonton. She began her education in the Fine Art program at MacEwan University, then continued her journey at the University of Alberta. She has worked with digital media for over five years, specifically in studio photography and film. Seneviratne creates short films with a fictional storyline to demonstrate the hardships of being in your 20s and an immigrant who cannot define herself as a Sri Lankan.
My work is a self-directed short film. It explores struggles, anxiety, and loss of friendship or love that one would go through in their early twenties. The fictional film Voicemail follows two characters and two different forms of communication between them. One strictly through unanswered voicemails and one through a form of text. Neither characters are right or wrong, nor a hero or a villain. They display a sense of friendship lost yet a love that is there for one another. My goal was to create a fictional storyline that causes the emotions of loneliness and anxiety that have occurred in my personal life and perhaps life’s of others. My work has a way of forming itself. I wandered around capturing moments that went unknown, unseen, or forgotten moments because it was too mundane. They were clips of ordinary days that had a sense of beauty. Inspired by these moments, I acted out scenes of a woman in a long royal blue dress and heels. She seems lonely but overly dressed for an unknown occasion. It was interesting to be an actress in my film. I had control over what facial expressions, placement, or actions I wanted my character to show. I was able to control the angles of the camera while I was acting. I had to be the director, producer, actress, camera person, and editor. It was an experience that opened my eyes to the never-ending possibilities of self-directing a film. I now know the opportunity I have to tell a story through film. The joy of not just finishing the work but also enjoy the process of creating. The ability to explore internal struggles through fiction and story telling.
Voicemail (still 1), short film, 2022
Voicemail (still 2), short film, 2022
Voicemail (still 3), short film,2022
Voicemail (still 4), short film, 2022
To hold (still), short film, 2023