It is interesting to make films on those who tread a path of their own by fighting prevailing societal norms, director Lenin Rajendran has said.

Swathi Thirunal and painter Raja Ravi Varma, on whom he had made films, were such personalities, Mr. Rajendran said at a Meet-the-Press programme on the sidelines of the 15th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) here on Thursday.

“Both Swathi Thirunal and Raja Ravi Varma were widely criticised and isolated by society during their times. It is the relatively little-known sides of these personalities that I have portrayed in my films,” Mr. Rajendran said.

Swati Thirunal was only a musical genius but also an able administrator. Raja Ravi Varma, who is the central character in his film Makaramanju, was criticised for imitating European style of painting and not following the traditional Indian school, he said.

Makaramanju had been included in the Malayalam Cinema Today section of the film festival. “It is only in the last years that Ravi Varma's works got due recognition. If you observe, even the subjects of his paintings were characters isolated by society in their times like Sita, who is abandoned by her husband or Draupadi who is humiliated by the Kauravas,” Mr. Rajendran said.

Film festivals are not for any particular section. The festival audience should represent a cross section of society, he said. Carlos Gaviria, whose film Portraits in a sea of lies' had been included in the Competition Section of the festival, said though violence is not widespread in all Latin American countries, in Colombia, where the film is set, people who have to deal with violence every day.