Davena Vihagun (Burning Birds), a film written and directed by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, has been nominated for the prestigious Ingmar Bergman Award at the 40th Göteborg International Film Festival (Gutenberg) in Sweden. The Göteborg International Film Festival is the biggest film festival in the Scandinavian region. It will be held from 26 January to 6 February. The first Nordic premiere of Davena Vihagun (Burning Birds) will be on 1 February.
In the meantime, Davena Vihagun (Burning Birds) also has been invited to the 46th International Film Festival Rotterdam for its Bright Future section. The film festival will be held from 25 January to 5 February. The European premiere of the Burning Birds will be on 28 January. Sanjeewa’s debut Flying Fish was also world-premiered at the Rotterdam Festival in 2011.
Burning Birds world-premiered at the 21st Busan International Film Festival in South Korea last October, where it was nominated for the Best Film Award. Though it did not win, it managed to win the hearts of critics and audiences. Last November, Davena Vihagun (Burning Birds) won the Special Jury Prize (the second prize) at the 17th Tokyo FILMeX International Film Festival in Japan.
Burning Birds is Sanjeewa’s second film, following the controversial Flying Fish (Igilena Maluwo). The film is a co-production between Sri Lanka, France, the Netherlands, and Qatar. It was selected for the 25th Cinéfondation Residence Program of the Cannes Film Festival in Paris, for the years 2012 to 2013. It was then selected for the Jerusalem International Film Lab in 2014 in the advanced script development category. Within seven months Sanjeewa developed the script at the Film Lab, where he worked with one of the world’s most renowned script advisers, Jacques Akchoti (France).
Burning Birds was produced by Antonin Dedet and Dominique Welinski (France) on behalf of Neon Production and Sanjeewa Pushpakumara on behalf of Sapushpa Expressions (Sri Lanka).
The international sales agent of Burning Birds is Film Republic, London.
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 appear in Burning Birds.
The Cinematographer is Kalinga Deshapriya, the Editors Ajith Ramanayake and Katharina Wartena, the Makeup Artist Priyantha Dissanayaka, the Art Director Piyathissa Akurambada, the Costume Designer Ajantha Alahakoon, the Sound Engineers Nicolas D’halluin and Aruna Priyantha Kaluarchchi, the Colour Grader Elie Akoka, the Assistant Director Aruna Thilakarathne, the Second Assistant Director Niroshan Edirimanna, and the Production Manager Harald Karunathilaka.
Tokyo Talent Campus has invited Sanjeewa Pushpakumara to deliver a special lecture on filmmaking to future Asian filmmakers. These young filmmakers are currently following a filmmaking workshop at Tokyo Talent Campus. The Tokyo Talent Campus is an institution affiliated to the Tokyo FILMeX International Film Festival.