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Nov-07-2013 13:40printcomments

White Van Stories: a Film by Leena Manimekalai

Nobody knows where you are. You are no longer a recorded statistic of society. You just don’t exist anymore.

White Van Stories

(CHENNAI) - They hijack your lives. By the shadows of night; by the piercing light of day. They come for you in aggressive military green. Sometimes in cunning civilian shades. They grab you by the throat without reason; they collar your shoulder without a warrant. Like slaves to savages you are led against your will. You are forced to leave behind a home of broken spirits to lament your loss; loved ones who will tirelessly look for you.

A search that will only leave them dry lunged and distraught in the face of unsympathetic officials and hostile threats.

Nobody knows where you are. You are no longer a recorded statistic of society.

You just don’t exist anymore.

Kanavuppattarai Productions presents…

White Van Stories – a 2 hour documentary feature on enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka by Leena Manimekalai.


Team White Van Stories

  • • Leena Manimekalai – Filmmaker
  • • Aravind MAK – Cinematography
  • • Thangaraj P – Editing
  • • Arun Varma – Sound
  • • Ajith Kumar AS – Music
  • • Srinivasan N – Design
  • • Christy Bharath - Communication

Leena Manimekalai

About Film Maker

Leena Manimekalai is an independent Filmmaker, Poet and an Actor. Her works include three published poetry anthologies and a dozen films in genres of documentary, fiction and experimental visual poetry. She has published four poetry anthologies in Tamil and her literary contribution has won Iyal Poetry Award in 2008 and Sirpi Literary Award in 2011. Her films have been recognized with avid participation and best film awards in many international and national film festivals.

In her quest to contribute and always raring to go, she has penetrated her land, state and nationwide, screening her films in more than thousand and odd forums and spaces. Women Movements, Mass Movements, Dalit Movements, Grassroot NGO's Civil Rights Societies, Educational Institutions, Film Societies, Film Festivals etc across the states have showed her films initiating a participatory dialogue and interventions.

She has also had the privilege of invitational screenings in international festivals and conferences across United States, Canada, China, Korea, Israel, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, South Africa, Kenya, Finland, Venezuala, Guatemala, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri lanka, Belgrade etc.

She has EU Fellowship on Media and Conflict Resolution(2005), Commonwealth Fellowship on Women in Film(2008) and PSBT Film Fellowship on Tamil Women Poetry - Sangam through Contemporary ages(2011) to her credits. She has also been a Charles Wallace Visiting Scholar with SOAS, University of London, 2012.


  • • Retro - Ethnographic Montages, Chicago Women in Director's Chair International Film Festival, 2004
  • • Silver Trophy for the Best Documentary in Europe Movies Film Festival , 2004
  • • Best Actor and Best Experimental Video in Independent Art Film Festival , 2005
  • • Best Documentary in Paris and Norway Independent Diaspora Festivals. 2005
  • • Retrospective, International Democratic Socialist Youth Film Festival, Venezuala, 2005
  • • International Jury in Asian Film Festival, Malaysia, 2006
  • • Jury Award for Best Cinema of Resistance - John Abraham National Award, Trivandrum, 2007
  • • Golden Conch for Best International Documentary in Mumbai International Film Festival, 2008
  • • Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Berlinale, 2008
  • • Nomination to Horizon Award, Munich International Film Festival, Germany, 2008
  • • Nomination - Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Brisbane, 2008
  • • One Billion Eyes National Award - Best Documentary, 2008
  • • Indian Panorama Selections for 2011 – Sengadal
  • • NAWFF Award for Best Asian Women Cinema - Sengadal, Tokyo, 2011
  • • Part of Hundred Years of Indian Cinema Privilege Package, 2012
  • Also see: Documentary on Sri Lanka Set for International



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