Sengadal: The Dead Sea, which happens to be the debut directorial film by author Leena Manimekalai, has been chosen as the lone Indian entry in the International Competition section of the 13th International Film Festival to be held in Mumbai, the commercial capital of the country, from 13 -20 October, 2011.
Srinivasan Narayanan, the director of the Film Festival, said that the selection committee was mightily impressed with the freshness in the film’s approach besides the wonderful and eye-catching cinematography. The film, which is yet to be released in theatres, was caught in a long legal battle with the Chennai Regional Office o the Central Board of Film Certification (Censors) and the Appellate Tribunal authorities over the ban imposed on the public exhibition of the film.
Buoyed at winning the battle, Sengadal the Dead Sea has, however, been slapped with an ‘A’ certificate sans any cut from the original version. The film was screened at the 32nd Durban International Film Festival and 35th World Montreal Film festival in July and August this year, in that order. It has also been nominated for the coveted NAWFF Award which would be given at the function to be held later this month at Tokyo, Japan.
Navi Pillai, the Human Rights Commissioner of U.N. watched the film at Durban and appreciated the uncompromising attitude of the makers and said that the film could be ‘considered’ as a witness of the increasing number of human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan Navy on the Indian fishermen at the international maritime border off the shores of Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi.
Sengadal the Dead Sea has its major supporting artistes from Kidathirukai Therukoothu team and has been produced by Tholpaavai Theatres.