Student Profile

Priyantha Fonseka


Doctor of Philosophy

Thesis Title

The Role of Silence in Sri Lankan Cinema from 1990 to 2010


Laleen Jayamanne

Richard Smith

Thesis Abstract

My project is about the role of silence in cinema in Sri Lanka from 1990 to the present day. In this study, silence in cinema is regarded as an emotional aesthetic expression that defines the sense of frustration and anomie endemic to the socio-cultural and politico-economic distress and desperation of conflict-ridden Sri Lanka.

Professional and/or Community Engagement

Lecturer in Film Studies, Department of Performing Arts, Sri Palee Campus, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka since 2007 (currently on study leave);
Film Critic and Writer for 14 Magazine (Sri Lankan magazine for Cinema and Arts);
Assistant Editor of Chithrapata (film journal of National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka);
Blogger: and;
Secretary of the Jury, Presidential Cinema Awards, Sri Lanka, 2009;
Jury Member, Unda – SIGNIS Cinema and Television Awards, Sri Lanka, 2010 and 2011;
Jury member, State Television Awards, Sri Lanka, 2008;
Short Film Director;
Feature Film Assistant Director;
Stage Drama Director and Actor.

Conference Presentations

Priyantha Fonseka, “Silence as a Weapon in Sri Lankan Civil War Films” (paper presented at the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Conference, National University of Singapore, Singapore, July 03–05, 2013).

Priyantha Fonseka, “Iranian New Cinema: Answer for the Hollywood Monopoly” (paper presented at the Second Annual International Research Symposium, University of Sabaragamuwa, Belihuloya, Sri Lanka, July, 2008).

Priyantha Fonseka, “King in his Subject’s Clothes: Exploring Anti-colonialist Characters in Postcolonial Western Cinema through Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi and Cry Freedom,” (paper presented at the Third Annual Research Symposium, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, January, 2006).

Priyantha Fonseka, “Is Prasanna Vithanage an ‘Avant-Garde’ Film Maker or Simply an Author?”, (paper presented at the Peradeniya University Annual Research Sessions (PURSE) at University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, November, 2004).


Priyantha Fonseka, Trans. Alu (Ashes): a Sinhalese translation of Harold Pinter’s Ashes to Ashes. Colombo: Vishada Publishers, 2010.
Priyantha Fonseka, “Cinema Spectator” (in Sinhalese). Colombo: National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka, 2005.
Priyantha Fonseka, “Silence is speaking (in Sinhalese).” In Stories about Hatha, edited by Athula Samarakoon, Sudesh Manthillake, 99-110. Peradeniya: University of Peradeniya Arts Council, 2010.
Priyantha Fonseka, “Acting for Story Teller (in Sinhalese).” In Rupavahini Sameeksha, 4th Edition, edited by Gamini Weragama, Jinapriya Galabada, 69 - 77. Colombo: Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 2010.
Priyantha Fonseka, “Television Genre Studies (in Sinhalese).” In Rupavahini Sameeksha, 1st Edition, edited by Gamini Weragama, Jinapriya Galabada, 80 -92. Colombo: Ministry of Cultural Affairs, 2006.
Priyantha Fonseka, “Mise-en-scene Concept in Cinema.” Chithrapata 104 (2009): 439–58.

Favourite Films

City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
Pather Panchali (Sathyajit Ray, 1955)
Death on a Full Moon Day (Prasanna Vithanage, 1997)