Flying Fish (2011) (Director / Writer / Co-Producer with Manohan Nanayakkara)

Flying Fish (Sinhala: Igillena Maluwo) is a 2011 anthology film directed by Sri Lankan filmmaker Sanjeewa Pushpakumara. It was produced with the financial support of the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).The film made its world premiere on January 28, 2011, as part of the Rotterdam festival’s Tiger Awards Competition.


Wasana and Soldier
A young Sinhalese village woman falls in love with an army soldier and becomes pregnant. The couple attempts to abort the child but fails. While they are making love in the ruins of an abandoned building, her father sees them. While he does not confront her about what he has seen, the scene haunts him continuously. As the war intensifies, adult villagers are recruited into the civil defense force to protect the village border. Among these recruits is her father, who is punished and humiliated by the soldiers from her lover’s platoon for not being on guard one day. Demoralized, he shoots himself inside an empty bunker. Meanwhile, the soldier and his platoon receive a transfer to a distant posting, leaving the woman in great agony. Tortured by her father’s suicide and her rage at the soldier who leaves her pregnant, she flees the village.

Son and Mother
A recently widowed Sinhalese woman lives with her eight children in a remote village where the armed tension between the government army and the L.T.T.E., or Tamil Tigers escalates. Stricken with extreme poverty, she becomes a curd vendor. She also becomes involved in an affair with a young man who owns a shop in the village. Her eldest son is in his first year of high school. To support the family, he works in the local fish market selling fish. Meanwhile, he falls in love with a girl at his school. He is humiliated when their relationship is revealed to the school. Meanwhile, rumors spread about his mother’s affair. One day, the boy sees his mother having sexual intercourse with her lover in a broken house. The enraged boy stabs his mother in front of his siblings the same evening.

Tamil Girl
A Tamil schoolgirl experiences her first menstrual period while in a bus on her way home after school. This is revealed when an army soldier subjects her to a security check at an army-controlled roadblock. Her father is a clerk and her mother is a housewife; they live in a rural village in Eastern Sri Lanka, where the war between the state army and the L.T.T.E. has been intensifying. The Tamil Tigers secretly conduct their propaganda lectures in schools, demanding a separate Tamil Eelam state and justifying their war against the Sinhala-dominated southern government army. One night, the L.T.T.E. forcibly enter the Tamil girl’s house and demand a sum that the family can scarcely afford. They threaten to conscript the girl if her family fails to pay the money. On the night that her parents are supposed to pay the demanded money, the child slips away from the house just as the L.T.T.E visit them. Since the L.T.T.E. get neither the money nor the girl, they gun down her parents.


  • Best Director Award, New Territories Competition / St.Pertersburg International Film Festival- KINOFORUM
  • 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 -  2011(Nominated), Asian Film Festival, Hong Kong
  • Special Jury Mention for Red Chameleon Award, 5th CinDi IFF aka Cinema Digital International Film Festival, Seoul, South Korea
  • Critic’s Choice Award, 5th New Jersey South Asian Film Festival, USA
  • Tiger Award (Nominated) / 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam
  • New Directors Award (Nominated) / 37th Seattle International Film Festival
  • Lino Micciche Award (Nominated) / 47th Pesaro International Film Festival
  • Silesian Film Award (Nominated) / Ars Independent International Film Festival, Katowice
  • Tokyo FILMeX IFF (nominated) Best Film
  • Fipresci Award (Nominated) 36th Hong Kong IFF
  • SIGNIS Award (Nominated) 36th Hong Kong IFF
  • Asai Pascific Screen Awrds ( In competition)


  • 40th Rotterdam International Film Festival – the Netherlands 26 January-6 February 2011
  • 37th Seattle IFF, Seattle, USA – May 19-June 12, 2011.
  • 1st Ars International Film Festival Katowich, Poland, June 15-19, 2011
  • 47th Pesaro IFF, Italy – June 19-27, 2011
  • Museum of Modern Art (aka MoMA) – New York, USA – July 7–13, 2011 – Under Contemporary Asian Cinema Series.
  • CINEMATEK (The Belgian Royal Film archive)- Brussels, July 1- – 14,2011 for L’Age d’or prize and the Cinédécouvertes Prizes
  • 2nd St. Petersburg IFF (aka Kino Forum),St. Petersburg, Russia – July 10 – 15,2011.
  • 5th CinDi IFF aka Cinema Digital International Film Festival,Soul, South Korea, August 17 to 23,2011
  • 11th Indie World Film Festival, September 1-29 September 2011, Brazil.
  • 30th Vancouver International Film Festival – September 29 to 14 October 2011, Canada
  • London Film Festival (LBF) –October 13-28, 2011, London
  • Hawaii International Film Festival, October 13-23, 2011, USA.
  • 47th Chicago IFF, Chicago, USA – October 6-20, 2011 – World Cinema.
  • New Jersey South Asian Film Festival, USA, October 21-23, 2011.
  • 52nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, November 4-13 2011 in New Horizon section
  • 3rd i San Francisco South Asian Film Festival, November 9-13, 2011, USA.
  • 15th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, November 16 to 30, 2011.
  • 12th TOKYO FILMeX IFF, November 19 -27, 2011,Tokyo, Japan.
  • 34th 3continents IFF November 22–29, 2011 Nantes France.
  • 42nd International Film Festival –Goa, November 23 – December 3, 2011, India
  • 4th Bengaluru International Film Festival, Bangalore, Asian Competition
  • 10th Pune International Film Festival , Pune, India, 2012
  • 36th Hong Kong IFF,Hong Kong, March 21-April 5, 2012
  • 18th The Prague International Film Festival FEBIOFEST, 24 March-1 April, Czech Republic
  • 2nd Indian Film Festival , Melbourne,2012
  • 5th Samsung Women International Film Festival, Inddia,2012
  • South Asia conference in Madison, Wisconsin,2012
  • La Ciematheque ( Special screening), Paris,2013
  • Australian Cinematheque – Change : Path Through 20 Years of Film,2013
  • 16th Guanajuato Internationale Film Festival,Mexico,2013