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What is so controversial about DAM 999?

DAM_999Why is this film of Sohan Roy damned in India? It almost got nominated for Oscars after being shortlisted in three categories for best picture, best original score and best original song. The film made it to the ballot list of two hundred and sixty five movies for the 2011 Academy Awards. The film had a week long Oscar qualifying screening at Los Angeles in October.

It was learnt only yesterday that the film failed to secure a nomination in the mentioned categories. Director Sohan Roy is not so disturbed about missing out and is already planning his next project, `The Somalian Pirates’.

The film tells the story of nine people who come together against the backdrop of a dam that is threatening to give way and how they interplay their emotions. The dam is actually the hero of the film.

The film was barred from screening in Tamil Nadu. It was banned for supposedly taking a pro-Kerala stand in the Mullaperiyar dam row. Sohan Roy had approached the apex court to lift the ban.

The film cost about ten million dollars to make. It is dealing with the miseries of people following the collapse of a dam. The critics of the film feel that it is trying to represent the big dispute over the century old Mullaperiyar dam which is situated in Kerala and supplies water to Tamil Nadu.

The director, Sohan Roy, has clarified that the `999’ in the title does not refer to the contract period of the dam as it has been so misunderstood. It actually refers to the date when the dam bursts in the climax of the film and that is on 9th September 2009.