Davena Vihagun aka Burning Birds is a film written and directed by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara that has won the Special Jury Prize (the second prize) of the festival with USD 5000.
The Grand Prize (first prize) was won by Chinese film Life After Life with USD10, 000. Korean film The World of US received Jury Mention and an Audience award.
The awards ceremony was held on November 26 at Ashai Hall in Tokyo. The 17th Tokyo FILMeX International Film Festival was held from November 19 to 27 in Tokyo, Japan.
The Jury also said: “The film is a loud cry of pain from a cruel war of the 1980s. It shares the perspective of one woman, a wife who loses her husband and a mother whose struggle to hold her family together ultimately costs her the respect of her children. An under reported story from yesterday is made urgently relevant in the modern world.”
Burning Birds world premiered at the 21st Busan International Film Festival in South Korea last October where the film was nominated for the Best Film of the festival. Though the film did not win the award it won many hearts of critics and the audience.
Burning Birds is Sanjeewa’s second film after the controversial Flying Fish (Igillena Maluwo). The film is a co-production of Sri Lanka, France, Netherlands and Qatar. Burning Birds film project was selected to the 2012- 2013, 25th Cinéfondation Residence Programe of Cannes Film Festival in Paris. The script was selected to the Jerusalem International Film Labin 2014 for advanced script development.
During a seven-month period Sanjeewa developed the script at the Jerusalem International Film Lab in Israel. At the lab Sanjeewa worked with one of world’s renowned script advisers Jacques Akchoti of France.
Burning Birds was produced by Antonin Dedet and Dominique Welinski (France) on behalf of Neon Production and Sanjeewa Pushpakumara for Sapushpa Expressions (Sri Lanka).
Mahendra Perera, Samanalee Fonseka, Anoma Janadari, Chandani Seneviratne, Leonie Kotalawala, Pubudu Chathuranga, Priyanka Samaraweera, Dasun Pathirana, Tissa Bandaranayaka, Shyam Fernando, Dharshan Dharmaraj, Sanjeewa Dissanayake and Dharmapriya Dias star in Burning Birds.
Cinematographer: Kalinga Deshapriya. Editors: Ajith Ramanayake and Katharina Wartena. Make Up: Priyantha Dissanayaka. Art director: Piyathissa Akurambada. Costume Designer: Ajantha Alahakoon. Sound Engineers: Nicolas D’halluin and Aruna Priyantha Kaluarchchi. Colour Grading: Elie Akoka, Assistant Director: Aruna Tillekaratne. Second Assistant Director: Niroshan Edirimanne. Production Manager: Harald Karunathilaka.