Award winning filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara’s newest film ‘Devena Vihagun’ (Burning Birds) marks 50 days of continuous screening on August 17.
The feature direction by young Sanjeewa, ‘Devena Vihagun’ won a number of international awards including the Special Jury Prize (the second place) at the 17th Tokyo FILMeX International Film Festival, the Best Picture and Young Jury Prize at the 15th Geneva International Film Festival (FIFDH) and the Best Actress award at the Asian World Film Festival 2017 in Los Angeles for Anoma Janadari.
At the 46th Rotterdam Film Festival, the film was placed 17th, out of 168 films from the audience reviews. It was also premiered in the New Currents Competition of the Busan Film Festival in Korea and it has also become the first ever Sri Lankan film to be nominated for the Ingmar Bergman Award at the Gothenburg Film Festival in Sweden.
The film has also represented Sri Lanka at over 25 International Film Festivals including Locarno, Munich and Pune.
A Special copy of Sanjeewa Pushpakumara’s ‘Devena Vihagun’ ‘Director’s Cut’ is now being released under the adults only tag at 4.15p.m. at the Regal theatre in Colombo. This version with a few unedited scenes, is screened following its original release by the National Film Corporation (NFC) through its Rithma circuit cinemas on June 29.
Written by Sanjeewa himself, the film reflects a story behind a noble mother and a daughter who sacrifice and dedicate their lives to bring a better livelihood for their children and siblings after the killing of her husband and father by an unknown armed group.
A production with an international collaboration including France, Doha Qatar, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands, “Burning Birds” was produced by Antonin Dedet and Dominique Welinski on behalf of Neon Productions in France, and Sanjeewa Pushpakumara on behalf of Sapushpa Expressions in Sri Lanka.
‘Devena Vihagun’ cast includes Mahendra Perera, Samanalee Fonseka, Anoma Janadari, Chandani Senavirathne, Leonie Kotalawala, Pubudu Chathuranga, Priyanka Samaraweera, Dasun Pathirana, Tissa Bandaranayaka, Shyam Fernando, Dharshan Dharmaraj, Sanjeewa Dissanayake and Dharmapriya Dias.
The filmmaker was awarded a grant of 15,000 Swiss Francs as production support for his next film project, the film ‘Amma’ (Mother)
Meanwhile last week, Sanjeewa won the ‘Open Doors’ Grant, the second highest film development award offered by the prestigious Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. The filmmaker was awarded a grant of 15,000 Swiss Francs as production support for his next film project, the film ‘Amma’ (Mother).
The first award was won by the Myanmar Director ‘The Maw Naing’ for his film project ‘Ma’ (The Women ). One of the world’s longest film festivals, Locarno celebrates its 71st anniversary this year and eight selected film projects from the South Asian region were selected under ‘Open Doors Hub’, an international co-production platform to promote South Asian cinema.
During the festival, the selected project teams were introduced to European and international professionals in order to encourage international collaborations, mostly in terms of co-production, funding and distribution but also to help them to avail themselves of professional training by experts. The Open Doors Hub film grant is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the City of Bellinzona by the Swiss fund for production support Visions Sub EST.