A 100-year-old Colonial dam is in a state of impending collapse. Serious issues have to be resolved if it has to be saved. But, there’s bureaucratic delay, and the dam collapses. Dubai-based Sohan Roy’s maiden directorial venture, “DAM 999” revolves around this, and the aftermath of the dam’s collapse.

Man and nature

“The central character of the story is this dam and the life of a few mariners living near it. There are nine characters in the movie, representing the Navarasas. I believe that every individual is born with a sthayi bhava, but when his suppressed feelings burst, like a dam, it changes,” says producer-director Sohan.

The movie has nine characters, nine moods and a dam of emotions.

International film projects by non-resident Indians and foreign production houses are gaining momentum. And, “DAM 999”, the first movie by the mariners, initiated by Marine Biz TV, in association with Biz TV Network, a UAE-based production house, is getting ready for a 2010 release.

Sohan is a naval architect, and the CEO of Aries Telecasting. He has been in television for the last five years, and has several documentaries and albums to his credit.

Following his heart

Though he did engineering, the dream of direction dragged him into the film industry. “But, due to personal reasons, I had to join the Merchant Navy. The passion for films never died, though! Later, I took a diploma in film direction and production from Hollywood. The first TV channel exclusively for the Maritime Industry was launched three years ago. And, the confidence of running a 24-hour global channel in English was more than sufficient to announce our first Hollywood venture,” he explains.

Casting is almost in the final stages, and Malayalam actor Tilakan, and Linda Arsenio have been signed up. “We expect to release all the names by the first week of November. However, you can expect some prominent names from the Indian industry in the cast. As a mariner’s movie, we really want Aishwarya Rai to bring out the ‘karuna rasa’ (Ash’s father and brother are mariners). We are waiting for the confirmation,” he elaborates.

What genre will the movie fall in? Says Sohan: “It’s an emotional, romantic, thriller with adventure and disaster thrown in for good measure.”

“DAM 999” will be shot in many countries. “We have short-listed a few dams in various countries… But, the dam-collapse sequence will be shot in studios, and using graphics. The majority of the locations are in India; the rest would be shot on commercial ships, and abroad.”

So, what does the film hope to do? Throw light on the unseen beauty of the marine world, and portray the positive aspects of marine life.