Sanjeewa Pushpakumara (born May 5, 1977) is a Sri Lankan film director, writer, and producer. He born& grew up in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka and 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. From 2005 to 2006, Pushpakumara pursued a diploma in filmmaking from Sri Lanka’s National Film Corporation, where he graduated at the top of his class.
Pushpakumara began his career as a presenter for an FM radio channel. Displeased with this job, he left it soon after to become a freelance newspaper journalist writing about film, drama, and other cultural events for the newspaper Ravaya, considered to be a pioneer in alternative journalism in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, he became a television presenter, scriptwriter, and producer for the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and Sirasa TV
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 2009, he again underwent training in the Asian Film Academy as part of the Busan International Film Festival. Pushpakumara is currently completing an advanced degree in film-making at Chung-Ang University in South Korea, under the Korean government scholarship program.
Pushpakumara’s first feature film, Flying Fish (Igillena Maluwo), received a grant from the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Huub Bals) to support its post-production costs. The film was subsequently honored with a nomination for the festival’s Tiger Award for new directors. Based on the director’s own life experiences, the film reflects the deep social and psychological trauma of the country’s twenty-six-year-long civil war.
Pushpakumara has through time been praised by many 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” in one of his much read reviews.
In 2011 Sanjeewa invited to Paris by Cannes Film Festival to it’s 25th Résidence programme of Cinéfondation develop his 2nd feature film Burning Birds( Working title) .