The films – ‘Life…,’ ‘Love…’ and ‘Hope…,’ reflect discrimination
CHENNAI: A short film trilogy shedding light on the social stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS was launched as part of the World AIDS Day here on Tuesday. The films ‘Life…,’ ‘Love…’ and ‘Hope…,’ made by Kiruthiga Udayanidhi, and directors M.Sasikumar and Mysskin reflect the social isolation of HIV-affected children. People AIDS Initiative, in association with Alaihal Midea and Red Giant Movies had produced the films.
Describing the discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS as “new untouchability,” actor Kamal Haasan said filmmakers have a major role to sensitise the society to the need for social acceptance of such people. On his association with the Population Services International and Hello FM initiative ‘Petraalthaan Pillai –ya?,’ a month-long campaign in support of HIV-positive children, Mr. Haasan said he would bear the medical expenses of 1,000 out of the 2,500 children to be adopted during the campaign.
Talking to the The Hindu on his attempts to make a feature film on AIDS, he said it was difficult to convince filmmakers to work on the project. “I wanted to make the film a decade ago when there was a lot of mockery and resistance. It is time we, along with government, act before the situation turns similar to Africa,” he said. The stigma attached to HIV/AIDS was a major barrier to encourage public participation for the cause. “Rural population, in fact, seems to have a better awareness than urban people as a lot of awareness activities are happening in villages. But yet, people are not ready for a complete acceptance.”
The ‘Petraalthaan Pillai –ya? initiative will embolden more corporates, including insurance companies, and NGOs to come forward to support children with HIV. Expressing confidence that awareness films would do well commercially,
Mr.Kamal Haasan said the economically backward, who contribute a lot to the success of a film, are the ones who are patronising films with social messages.
“We must understand AIDS and do something about it rather than isolating the victims and shying away from the issue,” Mr.Haasan said.
Deputy Chief Minister M.K.Stalin launched the DVDs and Kiruthiga Udayanidhi Stalin spoke on the making of the film.
Presiding over the event, Mayor M.Subramanian urged theatre owners to come forward to screen the short films and create awareness among people.
Directors Mysskin and Sasi Kumar spoke on growing sensitivity among people to AIDS and contribution of films towards sensitising people.
A book, published by Arumbu Publication, on HIV/AIDS was released on the occasion.
The short films will also be screened in Coimbatore, Salem, Madurai, Tiruchi and Thanjavur.