Film on third gender
Santosh Sivan's ``Navarasa" will be screened at the Osian Film Festival opening in New Delhi today.
Cinematograher Santosh Sivan
There have been very few serious films, which have taken up the third gender as the subject. And among them, even fewer which feature real people playing themselves. Santosh Sivan's "Navarasa" does just that. The cinematographer-director has set his latest Tamil film in the backdrop of the Kuthandavar-Aravan festival held in Koovagam, Vizhupuram. This is perhaps the only festival in the sub-continent, which is attended by eunuchs, transvestites and transsexuals.
``Navarasa," which will premiere at the seventh Osian's Cinefan Asian film festival, to be held in association with the Government of Delhi, from July 15-24 in Delhi, is the only Tamil film to enter the Indian competition section.
"The film is a comment on the times we live in. The third gender always fascinated me. While shooting for Kalpana Lajmi's `Darmiyan,' I met some people who belonged to this group. That got me thinking about the lives of these people. They are yet to find acceptance in our society," says Sivan. "That's when I learnt about the festival and its significance." ``I met some people from the Tamil Nadu Aravani Association and the script evolved from their stories. I thank them, especially people such as Aasha Bharathy and her team, who were so supportive at every stage," he adds.
"Navarasa" is the story of a eunuch, told through the eyes of 13-year-old Swetha (a grown-up `Malli').
"Shooting at the Koovagam festival was a fantastic experience. The festival celebrates the life of Aravan, Arjuna's son and his one-day marriage to Mohini, a form that Lord Krishna took. That's what makes this film different. It's a story about real people, set in a real world," says Sivan.
"Navarasa" will see its theatrical release by year-end.
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