Pria Viswalingam

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Pria Viswalingam

Pria Viswalingam is a prominent Australian documentary and filmmaker. He is of Tamil Sri Lankan ancestry and was born in 1962 in Malaysia. He was schooled there, as well as in Britain, Singapore and Australia. He is a Sydney-based journalist and television presenter, best known for his work for the Australian Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) network.

He moved to Australia in 1978 and after finishing his schooling, he graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 1987. His broadcasting experience began in radio, as a newsreader and as a reporter, specialising in politics and international affairs.

In 1989, he moved to SBS Television and worked for News and Current Affairs, where he presented and reported live-to-air programming. As well as anchoring the network's World News, he hosted Dateline, Tonight, Asia Report and Wine Lovers’ Guide to Australia. Most popular and memorable were his A Fork in the Road travelogues from 1992 until 2005. Including A Fork in Australia, A Fork in Asia, A Fork in Africa and A Fork in the Mediterranean, 62 episodes of approximately 25 minutes length were aired. The Fork series has been broadcast on SBS for 19 years.

In 2001, he wrote, produced, directed and narrated for SBS Class, a 4 x 52 minutes series "that looks at the slow death of egalitarian Australia. A society changing into an economy in which new wealth-driven divisions are widening the gap between rich and poor", said the summary by the Australian Film Commission.

In 2001, he wrote and directed the four 30 minutes episodes of A Yen for a Dollar, a series which had a look at Asian culture through the prism of business. This series aired on the ABC in February 2002.

In between "Forks..", in 2003, Viswalingam took created new series on Australia's corporate world, She'll be right, Boss! - a layman's look at "the big end of town" in Australia which comprised 5 episodes of 25 minutes each.

Again, in between "Forks..", in 2006. he wrote, produced and presented Decadence, with reflections on modern life in the West, in six episodes of 25 minutes each.

In 2007/8, he wrote and directed (with Animal Media) a 1hr documentary on the life of Birute Galdikas and her 36 years of pioneering study of Borneo's orangutans. This documentary was narrated by Mel Gibson and is distributed by Off the Fence.

In 2008, based on the success of the SBS TV series, Viswalingam began work on a feature documentary entitled,DECADENCE - The Decline of the Western World. This was released in Dec 2011 to critical acclaim and played for five weeks in cinemas in Sydney and Melbourne. He is soon to complete a television documentary series on Islamic banking and finance for the ARTE network.

Separate to his television productions, Viswalingam is producing a major feature film franchise.


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