The Eyes of Summer

(Gimhanaye Netra)

In a small and remote hamlet, a young girl develops a curious friendship with a spirit who lives in an abandoned house. The Eyes of Summer was shot in Samarasinghe’s mother’s village in Southern Sri Lanka—shortly after the civil war in 2010.

Collaboratively developed with members of the filmmaker’s family, a narrative was improvised around an investigation into his mother’s interactions with spirits in the community during her childhood. Landing somewhere between horror fiction and “spectral” ethnography, the film describes a population reeling from devastations of the past, where distinctions between the living and the dead are thinning.

Director Biography

Rajee Samarasinghe (1988, Sri Lanka) is a filmmaker based in the United States. His work tackles contemporary sociopolitical conditions in Sri Lanka through the scope of his own identity and the deconstruction of ethnographic practices. His debut feature, Your Touch Makes Others Invisible, is inspired by his childhood experiences during the Sri Lankan civil war. It received a Sundance Documentary Fund grant in 2019, was invited to Berlinale Talents’ Doc Station, as well as True/False Film Festival’s inaugural PRISM program in 2020. He was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2020. Rajee’s work has been exhibited at venues internationally including the Tiger Short Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center & MoMA, BFI London Film Festival, FIDMarseille, Festival du nouveau cinéma, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, among others.

Rajee Samarasinghe’s film everyday star screened at BFMAF 2019.

Director Filmography

Show Me Other Places (2021), Misery Next Time (2021), the past (2021), Gimhanaye Netra (The Eyes of Summer, 2020) Jeevithaye Mayawa (Imitation of Life, 2020), Untitled (2019), everyday star (2018), Piṭuvahalayā (The Exile, 2018), YI XIANG JU SUO (Foreign Quarters, 2017), The Spectre Watches Over Her (2016), If I Were Any Further Away I’d Be Closer to Home (2016), An Appearance of Fortitude (2015), black widow summer set (2015), The Queen of Material (2014), Untitled (Horse) (2014), 01.39411.999 (2012)

Production Year



UK Premiere


Rajee Samarasinghe


Sri Lanka United States

Primary Contact

Rajee Samarasinghe


Rajee Samarasinghe Delini Malka Samarasinghe Milani Samarasinghe

Director of photography

Rajee Samarasinghe


Rajee Samarasinghe

Sound design

Rajee Samarasinghe Christina C Nguyen


Rajee Samarasinghe


Rajee Samarasinghe

Production designer

Rajee Samarasinghe

Art direction

Rajee Samarasinghe


Rajee Samarasinghe


Shalani Dilasha Malka Malshani Lanka Rajapaksa Malisha Kavindi

Distribution (Worldwide)

Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre