The Forsaken Land
Film director and screenwriter Vimukthi Jayasundara is known for becoming the first Sri Lankan to win the esteemed Golden Camera Award at Cannes thanks to his work on “The Forsaken Land” (2005). the film also earned him a Cinefan - Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema Award. He netted a Golden Lion nomination and an Asia Pacific Screen nomination for “Between Two Worlds” (2009).
Childhood and Family:
Vimukthi Jayasundara was born in 1977, in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka. He attended Mahinda College, Galle, and then the Institute for Film and Television in Pune, India. He enrolled as a post-graduate at Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains-France.
Between Two Worlds
Vimukthi Jayasundara started his cinematic career as a journalist, film critics and screenwriter. After taking film and television studies in India, he returned to Sri Lanka and spent three years as a copywriter at the Lowe Lintas Worldwide ad agency.
After his tenure at Fresnoy, Jayasundara directed and wrote the short film, “Vide pour l'amour” (“Empty for Love,” 2003), which was shot in Sri Lanka and France. Starring Temuthu Chinthaka, Julie Durand and Sampath Jayasundara and produced by Lefresnoy, the drama premiered at the Belfort Entrevues Film Festival on November 27, 2003 and was selected to the Cannes film festival in 2003.
However, Jayasundara did not make his feature directing debut until 2005. “The Forsaken Land,” which he also wrote, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2005, where it won the Golden Camera, making him the first Sri Lankan to win the prestigious Award. The film also was shown in several film festivals such as the 2005 Brussels Cinédécouvertes Film Festival, the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2005 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, the 2005 Warsaw Film Festival, the 2005 Thessaloniki International Film Festival, the 2005 Nantes Festival of 3 Continents, the 2006 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema and the 2006 Around the World in 14 Films Festival. The soundtrack won Jayasundara the Asian and Arab Competition Special Jury Award from the 2005 Cinefan - Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema.
Jayasundara returned to the director's chair to helm the drama film “Between Two Worlds,” which premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival on September 7. It brought him Venice's Golden Lion nomination and an Asia Pacific Screen nomination for Achievement in Directing. The cast included Chinese actress Huang Lu, Thusitha Laknath, Kaushalya Fernando and Steve de la Zilwa.
Jayasundara's new film, “Mushrooms,” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, 2011.
Cannes Film Festival: Golden Camera, “The Forsaken Land,” 2005
Cinefan - Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema: Asian and Arab Competition Special Jury Award, “The Forsaken Land,” 2005