A Leeds Trinity University alumna is celebrating after her debut film, Talking With the Wind, was selected for screening at film festivals around the world.
Jayashika Padmasiri, who graduated from Leeds Trinity in 2011 with a degree in English and Creative Writing, wrote, directed and acted in her film, which is a metafilm about making a film where the film director gets lost inside her film. It tells the story of a young actress who wants to escape into the film to forget her living reality.
The experimental film juxtaposes fiction with reality, while blurring the boundaries between the two. It shows how mistakes are made in life and in the shooting of films, but how the mistakes in films can be reversed unlike in real life where mistakes become reality.
It has recently screened at the Nepal International Film Festival, and was also screened at three other international film festivals including the Montreal World Film Festival 2017, Kolhapur International Film Festival 2017 and the 2018 Asian Film Festival.
While she was studying at Leeds Trinity, Jayashika had her first poetry collection Sleepless Nights published. After graduating, she started working as a journalist in Sri Lanka, which is where she wrote her second poetry collection, Paper Planes, published in 2014. It is also where she started writing her film.
Jayashika said: "I never planned to become a filmmaker. I was interested in journalism and creative writing. When I was working as a journalist I also wrote poetry and film scripts, but I never planned to direct a film. But after finishing writing my film, I knew I couldn't give it away to another director. I felt that no-one else could tell that story the way I wanted it telling."
Jayashika enrolled on a film course in Sri Lanka, where she developed her directing skills. "I always felt as if the film script was like another poem that I'd written, but instead of using words as the medium to express, here I used visuals. I am really happy about all of the film screenings and glad that my film was selected."
As well as film directing, Jayashika also works as a freelance writer. She is currently working on her second film.