Sanjeewa Pushpakumara

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Sanjeewa Pushpakumara
Born (1977-05-05) 5 May 1977 (age 40)
Trincomalee, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
Occupation Film director, screenwriter & producer

Sanjeewa Pushpakumara born on 5 May 1977 in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura in 2005. In 2008, he obtained his Master's degree in Mass Communications from the University of Kelaniya. Sanjeewa, pursued a diploma in film making at the Sri Lanka National Film Corporation in 2006.[1] In 2007, Pushpakumara received a scholarship from the Korean Culture and Tourism Ministry under its Cultural Partnership Initiative (CPI), to study film-making in the Asian Young Film Forum and also to learn Korean language at Chonbuk National University (Korea).In 2014 he obtained his advanced degree (Master of Fine Arts) in film-making from the Chung-Ang University in South Korea as a Korean Government Scholarship Holder (KGSP).[2] In 2009, Sanjeewa was selected to the Asian Film Academy of Busan International Film Festival.He participated in Berlin Talent Campus in 2012.

Sanjeewa's first feature film, Flying Fish (Igillena Maluwo), received post production support from the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Subsequently Flying Fish world premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam and was nominated for the Tiger Award. The film reflects the deep social and psychological trauma of the country's twenty-six-year-long civil war.[3] Flying Fish garnered many accolades and the film was invited to more than 30 international film festivals around the world. It was said by Tony Rayns at the 5th Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival that "Sri Lankan Cinema has found its true modernist" and he has also said that "Flying Fish (Igillena Maluwo) is indecently beautiful".[4]

In 2012, Sanjeewa was invited to Paris by Cinéfondation of Cannes Film Festival to its Résidence programme to develop his second feature film, Burning Birds (Davena Vihagun). The film received production support from Doha Film Institute and post production support from Hubert Bals Fund and Cinema du Monde (CNC).[5]

In 2014,Biennale College – Cinema of Venice Film Festival invited Sanjeewa to Venice to develop his third film project Peacocks’ Lament. Currently Peacocks Lament is on advance script development.


Feature films[edit]

  • Peacocks Lament (2017) ( working title) - in development
  • Burning Birds (2016) -
  • Flying Fish (2011) (Director/Writer/Producer)

Short films[edit]

  • Unforgiven (2012) ( Writer / Director)/ – The film invited by 66th Cannes film festival for its Short Film Corner section
  • An Encounter in the Woods (2009) (Production designer)
  • Wings to Fly (2008) (Director/Writer/Producer)
  • Touch (2007) (Director/Writer/Producer)

Flying Fish (Igillena Maluwo, 2011)[edit]

  • Best Director Award, New Territories Competition[6][7][8] / St.Pertersburg International Film Festival- KINOFORUM 2011[9]
  • Best Asian Film, NETPAC award, 4th Bengaluru International Film Festival
  • Blue Chameleon Award, 5th CinDi IFF aka Cinema Digital International Film Festival, Soul, South Korea
  • Best Asian Cinematographer ( Nominated), Asian Film Awards, 2012, Hong Kong
  • Special Jury Mention for Red Chameleon Award, 5th CinDi IFF aka Cinema Digital International Film Festival, Soul, South Korea
  • Critic's Choice Award, 5th New Jersey South Asian Film Festival, USA,
  • Tiger Award (Nominated) / 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam[10][11]
  • New Directors Award (Nominated) / 37th Seattle International Film Festival[12]
  • Lino Micciche Award (Nominated) / 47th Pesaro International Film Festival (Mostra Internazionale de Nuova Cinema)[13]
  • Silesian Film Award (Nominated) / Ars Independent International Film Festival 2011 Katowice[14]
  • Tokyo FILMeX IFF (Nominated) Best Film
  • Golden Montgolfier Award (Nominated),34th 3 continents IFF
  • Fipresci Prize (Nominated) 36th Hong Kong IFF
  • Signis Award (Nominated) 36th Hong Kong IFF
  • Asia Pacific Screen Awards (In Competition)

Burning Birds ( Davena Vihagun,2017)[edit]

  • The Best Film / Grand Prix ((Winner) - 15th International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva (FIFDH)
  • Youth Jury Award (Winner) - 15th International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights in Geneva (FIFDH)
  • The Best Film (Nominated) - 21st Busan International Film Festival,(New Currents Competition),2016
  • Special Jury Prize/ the 2nd Prize (Winner) - 17th International Film Festival Tokyo FILMeX,2016
  • The Ingmar Bergman Award (Nominated) - 40th Göteborg Film Festival,(Ingmar Bergman Competition),2017
  • The Best Film (Nominated) - 27th African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival in Milan(FCAAAL),2017


  • Athmabadda Cinema Rupa – Prasanna Vithanage's Cinema (2007)
  • Jump Cut Ekak (A Jump Cut): Cinema from Sky to Earth (2008)
  • Korean Cinema and Kim Ki-duk's Film Language (2009)


  1. ^ [1], Festival Scope Profile: Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, 2010
  2. ^ "Profile: Sanjeewa Pushpakumara", Festival Scope, 2010
  3. ^ International Film Festival Rotterdam, "Tiger Awards Spotlight: Sanjeewa Pushpakumara", YouTube, 31 January 2011
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ "Awards ceremony at the 2nd Saint Petersburg International Kinoforum", St.Pertersburg International Film Festival- KINOFORUM, 16 July 2011
  7. ^ Martin Blaney, "Black Blood, A Separation triumph at Kinoforum", Screen Daily, 16 July 2011
  8. ^ Susitha R. Fernando, "Sanjeewa wins Best Director", Daily Mirror, 17 July 2011
  9. ^ "'New Territories' competition program will be a challenge for the audience", St. Petersburg International Film Festival "KINOFORUM", 24 June 2011
  10. ^ Bryce J. Renninger, "Rotterdam Unleashes List of Fourteen Tiger Award Competition Films", indieWIRE, 10 January 2011
  11. ^ Todd Brown, "Complete Tiger Awards Competition Announced For Rotterdam 2011", Twitch, 9 January 2011
  12. ^ "SIFF Announces Film Competition Lineups For 2011 Festival", Seattle International Film Festival, 28 April 2011
  13. ^ "Pesaro New Cinema Competition", 47a Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema, 19–27 June 2011
  14. ^ "IFF Ars Independent", Ars Independent International Film Festival 2011 Katowice

External links[edit]