ISLAND newspaper News Item, 18 November 2021
In a brand new initiative, under the working title ‘Project 72’, Roar Media and author Sarah Kabir are set to take a deep dive into Sri Lanka’s past since gaining Independence in 1948, entertainingly and educationally covering some of the most defining years in the nation’s history.
A first-of-its-kind documentary, Project 72 will portray Sri Lanka’s journey since Independence in a way it has never been seen before; From brilliant political manoeuvring to battles won and lost, ethnic tensions and moments of kindness — all through the eyes of witnesses, the voices of experts, and the memories of citizens who lived through these events.
Speaking on the project, Sarah Kabir stated: “Sri Lanka’s post-Independence history has largely been overlooked in the education curricula. From mainstream sources, we either hear one-sided accounts of events or nothing at all. As the saying goes, ‘If we close our eyes to the past, we remain blind to the present.’ Roar Media and I have embarked on this exciting new project hoping to spark debate and discussion amongst Sri Lankans, create awareness, and convey a pluralist history.”
The documentary hopes to provide in-depth coverage of key events from Sri Lanka’s past that have impacted the present, both negatively and positively, in an entertaining and educational manner. Focused on raising awareness and highlighting the struggles and the wins the country has gone through, Project 72 aims to be a comprehensive resource of the key milestones in Sri Lankan history, by focusing on a string of intersecting events and key debates and issues of the time.
The documentary will combine footage, images, animation, infographics, eye-witness accounts, and as many as 50 interviews from experts, and people who have spent their life researching and understanding these events and issues, as well as political leaders and key decision-makers at the time, and those who were eye-witnesses to many of these events, to provide a balanced and comprehensive perspective of Sri Lanka’s journey since Independence.
Coupled with a dynamic narration style and stunning visual representation, Project 72’s unadulterated narratives are set to match some of the top documentaries that are being streamed on platforms like Netflix.
Roar Media Editor-in-Chief Roel Raymond, speaking on the upcoming documentary, stated: “This is an ambitious and challenging — but deeply satisfying project we’ve embarked on, with Sarah Kabir, that seeks not just to confront our own—often inadequate—knowledge of Sri Lanka’s post-colonial history, but also creatively present our findings to a diverse and large audience, so that we are all able to function as an informed citizenry, with the ability to perform our civic duties.
“Creating impactful, authentic content is at the heart of what Roar does, and this project resonates with these goals, making for a seamless partnership—most certainly the first of many more to come.”
The documentary will be made available on its own comprehensive website in English, Sinhala and Tamil, along with a range of supporting materials, such as timelines, articles and more, so that all relevant information presented in the documentary is available for viewing at a glance. It will also host links to other related material, media, and content so that it will serve as a larger repository for information that gives historical context to the subject matter in the documentary.
Project 72 is, in many ways, a groundbreaking genre of filmmaking in Sri Lanka, as it bridges the gap between education, entertainment, and insight, to tell Sri Lanka’s story as it has never been told before.
Stay tuned to Roar Media’s social channels to watch the project unfold.