Gaadi is a film based on historical fiction, set in 1814 in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) at the time British rule prevailed in the coastal belt of the island.

Stripped from nobility and forcibly married to an outcast, an aristocratic woman fights to keep her birth dignity by rejecting to succumb to her destiny. In her journey for survival in a war torn land with an outcast, she comes to realize many truths about life outside of her sheltered upbringing.

Other Information


Sinhalese (with English subtitles)


103 minutes


Drama, Romance, Fiction, History

Release Date

World Premier – November 2019

Local release – March 2020

Prasanna Vithanage

Director’s Message

This film relates to me in both political and personal levels.

In this historical epic journey, two people from two different social strata are brought together against their will and struggle to co-exist refusing to lose their identity. When pushed to the limits of survival, in order to survive, they finally come to realize that life doesn't exist on identity itself.

I thought of using this theme as an allegory to question this illusion, in a world where humans constantly wage wars in the name of national or religious identity.

For me, sharing this story with Sri Lankans is important, because our nation went through three decades of a brutal civil war waged in the name of racial and religious identities. Since the struggle to uphold identities has not stopped in post war Sri Lanka, I believe it is important to raise the question, "Is identity more important than the sanctity of life?"

On a personal level, this story is about a man trying to win over a woman by taming her. But during the journey, they are challenged by the circumstance beyond their control and forced to come to accept that the most important things in life are love and self-respect.

I believe the same struggle for superiority still exists in a relationship of a man and woman even at present in post-modern society. I felt strongly to make a film to counter that.

Cast and Crew


Dinara Punchihewa


Sajitha Anuththara

Ehelepola Adigar

Ravindra Randeniya

Bulathgama Disawe

Shyam Fernando

Bulathgama Disawe’s Mother

Irnaganie Serasinghe

Bulathgama Disawe’s Sister

Dhamyanthi Fonseka

Bulathgama Disawe’s Son

Anuspathi Gayantha

Bulathgama Disawe’s Daughter

Vishmi Purnima

Bulathgama Disawe’s Servant

Rohini Dewa Surendra

John Doyly

Mohamed Adamaly


Mervyn Kroon


Ananda Kumara Unnahe

Ukkuwa’s Mother

Nethali Nanayakkara

Village Youths

Kalana Gunasekara

Thilina Perera

Mahesh Hettiarachchi

Prasanna Dakumpitiya

Writer Director

Prasanna Vithanage


Alan McAlex

Ajay Rai

Sandya Salgado

H.D. Premasiri

Prasanna Vithanage

Director of Photography

Rajeev Ravi


A.Sreekar Prasad

Music Composer


Art Director

Dhammika Hewaduwatha

Sound Designer

Tapas Nayak

Our Awards & Achievements


Special Jury Mention (Asian Film Competition)
18th Dhaka International Film Festival 2020

Emerald Dove Award
3rd Independent Film Festival of Chennai

Cultural Diversity Award (UNESCO)
14th Asia Pacific Screen Awards


24th Busan International Film Festival 2019
24th International Film Festival of Kerala 2019
3rd I San Francisco International Film Festival 2019
49th International Film Festival Rotterdam 2020
18th Pune International Film Festival 2020
18th Dhaka International Film Festival 2020 (In Competition)
3rd Independent Film Festival of Chennai 2020
11th Bengaluru International Film Festival 2020
51 st International Film Festival of India 2020


"One of the most prominent Sri Lankan filmmakers, Prasanna Vithanage, has told an incredibly tough but important story with delicacy and beauty. The story of oppression, cruelty and rejection, juxtaposed with the exquisite beauty of nature and the inhabitants of this land is striking. But the most important thing conveyed by the director is depicting the strength of the spirit of the people in the struggle for their freedom."

- APSA International Nominations Council

Director’s Profile

Prasanna Vithanage became involved in theater on leaving school. He translated and directed Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man in 1986, and Dario Fo's Trumpets and Raspberries in 1991.

In 1992, he directed his first film Sisila Gini Gani (Ice of Fire). It won nine OCIC (Sri Lanka) Awards including Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress.

Four years later in 1996 was his second feature Anantha Rathriya (Dark Night of the Soul), which he wrote and directed. It was based on Leo Tolstoy's last novel Resurrection. It participated in several international film festivals and won a Jury's Special Mention in the First Pusan International Film Festival. The film also won all the main awards at the 1996 Sri Lanka Film Critics Forum Awards (affiliated with FIPRESCI) including awards for Most Outstanding Film, Best Director and Best Screenwriter.

Pawuru Walalu (Walls Within), his third feature in 1997 won the Best Actress Award for Nita Fernando in her role as Violet, at the 1998 Singapore International Film Festival. It even won ten out of eleven awards including Best Picture and Best Director at the Sri Lanka Film Critics Forum Awards.

His fourth feature Purahanda Kaluwara (Death on a Full Moon Day) of the same year, 1997, which he wrote and directed was produced by NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation). It won the Grand Prix at the Amiens Film Festival. Initially banned by the minister in charge of film industry, it was released after a yearlong legal battle. It was given the release under a Supreme Court verdict. Since then it has become one of the most successful films over half a century history of cinema in Sri Lanka. Prasanna Vithanage completed Ira Madiyama (August Sun) his fifth film in 2003. It went on to win many international awards and was featured prominently in the world festival circuit.

In 2007, Vithanage co-produced the hit film Machan a comedy about a group of working class con artists posing as a handball team, directed by The Full Monty producer Uberto Pasolini. Machan premiered at the 65th Venice Film Festival in 2008. It was shown widely all over the world winning 11 international awards.

2008 also saw the world premiere of Prasanna Vithanage's sixth feature film as director, Akasa Kusum (Flowers of the Sky) in Pusan, Korea and screened over forty film festivals to wide acclaim winning numerous international awards.

In 2012 Oba Nathuwa Oba Ekka (With You, Without You) is his seventh feature won four international awards and nineteen national awards.

His feature debut Documentary "Silence in the Courts" was the first Documentary film which had a theatrical run in Sri Lanka in 2016, despite being initially banned from public screening by the Colombo District Court of Sri Lanka.

Producer’s Profile

Film Island

Film Island is a premier Sri Lankan film production company with a global outlook.
We offer a professionalism that is unrivalled in the country. The expertise of the team includes internationally renowned multiple award winning directors and Sri Lanka's most sought after producer / line producer combination, together with best in class creative and strategic thinkers and managers. This highly experienced team has worked with distinguished film directors and film crews from around the world.

Film Island has the know-how to manage and flawlessly execute any production as line producers, from feature films, TV shows, documentary and commercial productions, meeting global standards and the latest technology requirements.

With Sri Lanka's most sought after industry experts, Film Island offers turn-key end to end professional production solutions to those who consider Sri Lanka as their preferred filming destination.

JR Pictures / Alan McAlex and Ajay Rai

Alan McAlex and Ajay G. Rai came together to form Jar Pictures. They are two dynamic film production professionals with a wide body of experience ranging from independent cinema, to non-mainstream art house films to commercially successful Bollywood hits between them. They have created a versatile production company steadily gaining a stronghold in the Indian film industry, producing critical gems like Geethu Mohandas' LIAR'S DICE (2014), which was India's submission to the 2014 Academy Awards and screened at Sundance. KILLA (2014), winner of the Crystal Bear for Best Film in Generation Kplus at the Berlinale 2014 and NIL BATTEY SANNATA (2015), internationally released as THE NEW CLASSMATE, which won several acclaims in India and abroad. The company's most recent film ONCE AGAIN (2018) by Kanwal Sethi was a co-production between Germany, Austria, and India.

H D Premasiri

H D Premasiri has been recognized as a well known producer for many successful Sri Lankan movies where he has already produced 07 movies, among them the movie ‘Yashodhara’ by Emeritus Professor Sunil Ariyaratne has been awarded as the ‘Highest Patron Response Film” in 2008 by the Presidential Film Festival and Block Buster Movie of the Year – 2018. His major purpose of film producing is recognized to be for the development of Sri Lankan Cinema in every aspect.

Prasanna Vithanage

Prasanna Vtihanage Productions was launched by the Film Director Prasanna Vithanage as a proprietorship in the year 1997 to produce his fourth film " Death on a full moon Day" in the year 1997 with NHK Japan. Later He co-produced "Flowers of the Sky" with H. D. Premasiri and A. Sreekar Prasad in the year 2008. He co-produced his documentary "Silence in the Courts" with H.D. Premasiri in the year 2015.

Interviews and Videos

Storytellers with Iranganie Serasinghe
Storytellers with Sajitha
Storytellers with Dinara
‘Gaadi – Children of the Sun’ Trailer was launched by the internationally acclaimed Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Arya


One of the most original movies I have seen. It was exceptional. Outstanding.
Joanna Kos-Krauze Jury Chairman
Polish Film Maker
Vithanage Prasanna's "Gaadi" is featured as one of the 100 Asian Movies That You Cannot Miss in 2019
Busan: Prasanna Vithanage Sri Lankan Auteur Shines With ‘Children of the Sun’
Now Playing! A Sri Lankan Director's Latest Saga at SF South Asian Film Festival Festival 2019
Lanka’s Sinhala-Buddhist community has always created an ‘other’, says filmmaker Vithanage
ප්‍රසන්නගේ සහ ගාඩිගේ ආත්මය සොයා යෑම
In Sri Lankan film ‘Gaadi’, a searing exposition of the caste system across the Palk Straits
‘Parasite’, ‘Sorry We Missed You’ and 48 other foreign cinema picks at Kerala film festival
Children of the Sun Movie Review: A Love Story That Underlines the Identity Crisis
මෙය ලංකාවේ වැඩිම මුදලක් වියදම් කළ චිත්‍රපටයක්
Film Island starts work on Prasanna’s epic movie: ‘Gaadi’
Introducing Dinara to dazzle audiences with Sajitha in ‘Gaadi’
Prasanna Vithanage to make a ‘historical road film’
කන්ද උඩරට රාජධානියේ එකෝමත් එක දවසක
Vithanage Prasanna's "Gaadi" is featured as one of the 100 Asian Movies That You Cannot Miss in 2019