LAB 2012-2013 > Gabriel Abrantes & Vimukthi Jayasundara – Taprobana

Gabriel Abrantes & Vimukthi Jayasundara – Taprobana

Gabriel Abrantes


Currently living and working in Lisbon, Abrantes is preparing his first feature film, focusing on the new identities, new power dynamics, and new narratives that are being forged as a result of the rapid economic and political evolution of non-occidental nations. In 2006 he received his BA in Cinema and Visual Arts in New York. In 2005/2006 he studied at LEcole National des Beaux-Arts, in Paris and in 2007 studied at Le Frenesoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains, Tourcoing, France. In 2010 Gabriel Abrantes, along with two others, founded A Mutual Respect: a film production company, and they have produced several films together, among these Palácios de Pena, which had its international premiere at the 68th Venice Film Festival in the Orrizonti competition.

Vimukthi Jayasundara


Vimukthi is an award-winning Sri Lankan film director, screenwriter and visual artist. His first feature The Forsaken Land (2005), won the Caméra dOr at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, making him the only Sri Lankan to win the award. He followed this with Between Two Worlds (2009), which got nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival 2009. Vimukhtis third feature Mushrooms (2011) was filmed in India and went on to be selected for the Directors Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival 2011. In 2012, the Jeonju International Film Festival invited him as one of three international film directors to produce a film for the Jeonju Digital Project 2012 for which he made Light in Yellow Breathing Space.




This first collaboration in between Vimukthi Jayasundara and Gabriel Abrantes will focus on a trip through Sri Lanka taken by Luis Vaz de Camões, the most famous Portuguese poet, who lived and wrote during the 15th century. Luis Vaz de Camões is most known for his epic lyric poem, Os Lusíadas, which recounts the narrative of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Camões wrote this while he was in forced exile in Sri Lanka, Goa and Macau. In this sense Camões can be seen as one of the first modern European colonial authors, developing his practice while stationed in Portuguese colonies. The irony of his case is formed by the fact that while he was in these countries so different from his own, Camões only concentrated on writing a narrative concerning the identity of the Portuguese people. The film will have a comic tone, concentrating on the Camões and the myth which suggests he has a passionate and stimulating relationship with a Chinese woman, Ti-nan-men. The short comedy will follow the couple on their honeymoon in Sri-Lanka, satirizing and quoting the popular honeymoon comedy genre. Throughout the honeymoon Camões is editing the Lusiadas, along with the help of a little macaque. Ti-nan-men is a delightful character, while Camões is brutish, rude, and not too likable, albeit the author of profound verse.