Lankan born Desh Amila an innovation in Media Industry
Desh Amila an award-winning filmmaker and Creative Director, responsible for innovations in the Media Industry at the nexus between fields of education, entertainment and social development.
His long journey locally and around the globe, had humble beginnings here in Sri Lanka. On receiving a scholarship at a young age he migrated to Melbourne, Australia in 2000 and graduated from Melbourne’s Deakin University with a Bachelor of Arts (Media Arts: Screen Studies and Photography) in 2005.
This was the first step in what would become a slow and steady rise from working from the bottom as an immigrant in a new country, to running his internationally renowned media production company today, This Is 42. Named after a reference in The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the mission of his ongoing endeavor has been to find meaning and purpose in people, events, podcasts and film.
Some of his most crucial experiences include leading online media publications, founding Australia’s first YouTube festival with international game-changers in the viral video sphere and years of creating and managing infotainment figures in Australia.
A turning point in Desh’s career came in 2016, producing and co-directing the acclaimed documentary film, ‘Islam and the Future of Tolerance’. The film is an exposé and treatise on how, in a world driven by violence and misunderstanding, prominent atheist author, Sam Harris and Islamic fundamentalist turned liberal Muslim, Maajid Nawaz, seek to provide a remedy to the polarising rhetoric and obscurantism around the topic of Islam.
Another production under his belt is the limited-series podcast available on all streaming platforms, ‘What the Hell Happened to Sri Lanka?’ The series is an attempt to investigate the domino effect of events that led up to the island’s economic and political crisis that peaked in 2020. In this podcast, he spoke to notable members of the Parliament, journalists, economists and researchers, to help paint a portrait of the island’s journey, through conflict, turmoil, changing leadership and survival against the odds.
These projects go hand-in-hand with the growth of his company, This Is 42, as it spreads its branches out internationally. Its teamwork ethic has been to celebrate intelligence in all its forms, using a signature touch in hosting tours and events, and producing and managing podcasts and brands that explore new horizons in the fields of art, science, design, sports and music.
Some of its clients have been notable speakers in the international realms of critical thinking and cultural commentary, like writer Coleman Hughes, psychologist Steven Pinker, journalist Meghan Daum and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.
A proponent for change, Desh has also advocated for philanthropy and social enterprise in business. Today, Desh is responsible for setting up the Deshantha Foundation.
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