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21 April 2024

UAE-based filmmaker's movie faces India storm

3 songs from the movie 'DAM999' qualify for The Academy. (SUPPLIED)

By Ajanta Paul

‘Dam999’ racks up controversy even before its official release.

Politicians from Tamil Nadu racked up the issue in the Indian Parliament demanding a ban on its release.

The Tamil Nadu Theatres Association has decided to not screen ‘Dam999’. The association believes that the release may create tension between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They presumed that the movie suggests Kerala's Mullaperiyar Dam to be weak and could wreak havoc.

'Dam999', a $10 m (Dh 36.7200 million) 3D movie directed by Sohan Roy, has been boycotted by two political parties in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu

Produced by UAE-based BizTV Network and directed by debutant Sohan Roy the movie depicts the dangers posed by the collapse of an old dam.

‘Dam999’ is based on the award winning documentary Dams- The Lethal Water Bombs and the Banqiao disaster of 1975 in China that claimed more than 2.5 lacs lives.

But the movie is now in troubled water as it gets dragged into the much politicized issue of the Mullaperiyar dam which is a bone of contention between Tamil Nadu and Kerala, India.

Both states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which share borders, also shares a 999 years of pact on the usage of the 115-year-old dam. The two states have been stuck in a legal wrangle over its use and ownership.

However Sharjah-based director Sohan Roy differs says his movie has got nothing to do with politics of the controversy surrounding the South India dam.

Speaking to Emirates 24|7 during a speacial screening of the movie Roy said, “40000 dams in this world is outdated, old and in danger. My movie is just a precautionary note that a catastrophe awaits if these dams are not repaired. In which way and where did I say it is about Mullaperiyar.”

Ten MDMK activists were arrested on Tuesday after they allegedly damaged the film rolls at a preview theatre where a trailer was to be screened.

“The film stresses on the importance of maintaining various dams across the world. These dams are the greatest danger for human beings because they are on the verge of collapsing during natural calamities like rains, floods, earthquakes, etc,” says Roy

‘Dam999’ is the first movie screenplay from the UAE to enter the Academy’s Library even before its theatrical release anywhere around the globe. It is also the first 3D movie from the Middle East.

The Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has added the screenplay of ‘Dam999’ as part of its Permanent Core Collection, which is accessible to students, film makers, writers, actors and others from the field of cinema, for the purpose of research.

In UAE the movie releases on the Nov 24 and slated to be released on Friday Nov 25 in India.

Roy said, “I have made the movie and I know there’s nothing wrong in it. If needed, I will appeal before the Supreme Court of India. I will fight for my movie”.