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Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts - still #1
Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts - still #2
Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts - still #3
Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts - still #4

Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts

NY Premiere

Director: Shaun Seneviratne

United States, Sri Lanka, 2024, 110 min

Shooting Format:Digital + Film

Festival Year:2024

Category:Narrative Feature

Genres:Comedy, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Indie

WINNER: Best Brooklyn Project

Cast:Sathya Sridharan, Anastasia Olowin

Crew:Writer: Shaun Seneviratne. Producers: Shaun Seneviratne, Doron JePaul Mitchell. Cinematographer: Molly Scotti; Editor: Joe Violette; Costumes: Christine Kecher; Music: Jake D'Ambra; Colorist: Keith Jensen


In "Ben and Suzanne, A Reunion in 4 Parts," Ben Santhanaraj journeys to Sri Lanka to rekindle his relationship with Suzanne Hopper, an American NGO worker, after a long separation. But when Suzanne's boss demands she work during their vacation, their love is tested by a dilemma: desire versus duty. As Suzanne struggles with the responsibilities of her job, Ben tries everything to revive their intimacy, leading to candid conversations and chaotic twists as New Year's Eve - and Ben's departure - looms ahead.

About the director

Shaun Seneviratne is a writer and director of emo movies. He teaches at the Brooklyn STEAM Center, co-hosts Rohmercast, and runs Redacted Screenings. He's based in New York City.

Website Filmography

Filmmaker's note

I started to imagine an entry in a film book of the future. Like an obituary, but memorializing something that hasn't become yet… Except, there is actually so much history that led up to this, and I'd like to honor that.

The last 15 (!) years have been about the dream of getting the movie shot... Now it's (nearly) done and will be world premiering at SXSW! I have no idea what 2024 will bring, but I'm excited to ride the wave and bring this movie to you. Thank you to the programmers for championing the film and seeing what we were trying to do.

It's not always easy to keep pushing forward with one's artistic desires. I couldn't have done this without the friendships, support, encouragement, and collaboration of the community we've created around this film during its very long gestation. All the flowers in the world to Anastasia Olowin and Sathya Sridharan. This movie is what it is because of them. And the biggest shout out in the world to Christine Kecher for believing in me and encouraging me since the beginning of our relationship.

The hypothetical entry on the movie 100 years in the future could look something like this. This isn't meant to be self-aggrandizing, but merely provide a record of the movie and its history thus far. I try to remain objective and matter-of-fact in its recap. That said, I do take the favorable route with the film's hypothetical reception, though the opposite can also be true:

“There was once a movie called BEN AND SUZANNE, A REUNION IN 4 PARTS. It was the first narrative feature film by a Sri Lankan director to premiere in the US. It premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in 2024. The movie is a romantic comedy about a couple on vacation. It was shot on location in Sri Lanka. It was independently financed by the director, close friends, and family. It was made following a 10-year partnership with its lead actors where they made three short films exploring the relationship of Ben Santhanaraj and Suzanne Hopper, two characters that experience the different stages of a long-distance relationship (separating, separation, isolation, and reunion).

The project began production on July 11, 2023 and halted production two days later as the 2023 SAG-AFTRA Strike began. A week later, on the verge of pulling the plug on the entire production, the production received an Interim Agreement, which allowed for independent productions like theirs to continue shooting. The film was shot in 15 days across Sri Lanka. They shot on digital and film. The film was made with local Sri Lankan crew and features nonprofessional actors and the director's family in key roles. The director has been developing this project for 14 years. The film was a feature debut for its actress, writer/director, producer, cinematographer, editor, and composer.

The movie is remembered for its charming performances, nuanced and frank dialogue, debatable and relatable perspectives, raunchy scenarios, film history references, on-location shooting, observational cinematography, elliptical editing, and genre-hopping soundtrack. The movie comments on modern relationships, distance, travel, desire, and duty.

See Also: Annie Hall, When Harry Met Sally, The Green Ray, The Shop Around the Corner, (500) Days of Summer, Y tu mamá también”

End of Entry. Beginning of new phase.

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