Kannan is a documentary filmmaker and visual journalist who uses documentary, photography and multimedia forms of storytelling.
Kannan was born in Jaffna and grew up in London. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The New Yorker, AOL Originals, in addition to broadcasts on BBC and Al Jazeera English. His films have been screened at international film festivals and art museums, including Seattle South Asian Film Festival (2015); Neuberger Museum of Art, N.Y. (2014); Rubin Museum of Art, N.Y.C. (2015); and selected for Film South Asia’s Travelling Film Festivals (2011, 2013, 2015). Kannan is a director at the Los Angeles based production company, Stateless Media that produces its signature shortreals for online platforms. In 2013, he was awarded best documentary short for Kerosene (16 mins) at the Seattle South Asian International Documentary Festival and the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation’s best documentary short prize for The Story of One (19 mins).
Kannan has over 5 years of experience in media production working for a variety of clients and under different grants including the Ford Foundation, the US State Department and the World Bank. In addition, he has 8 years of experience of working in media restrictive, conflict and post-conflict environments, during which he conceptualised and developed award-winning new media narrative projects. He studied Psychology at the University of Cambridge (1992-95) and International Human Rights at the University of Oxford (2007-08), focusing on media and conflict. Kannan is also a qualified media and human rights lawyer. In 2015 he was a visiting lecturer at Cornell University, N.Y., teaching a course on media representations of the Sri Lankan conflict.
Kannan currently lives in Colombo and Bangkok and is available to work internationally.