D.Karthikeyan

Madurai: One of the amazing facts in the Western classical music history is the fact that Ludwig Van Beethoven who churned out nine symphonies was hearing impaired. This historical fact could well be more than an inspiration for the differently-abled.

Taking cue from this musical genius, a team of differently-abled persons have come together to prove that disability is not a physical or mental condition but a state of feeling. A full length commercial film titled ‘Maa' was made by the physically challenged people. The film talks about the travails faced by a physically challenged person in all walks of life and are interspersed with commercial elements like songs, dance and comedy.

Forty members of the film crew involved in the major aspects of film production like direction, editing, cinematography, lyrics and music are all physically challenged which includes visual and hearing impairment and ortho problems. The film was directed by 28 year old Fatima Beevi who is affected by polio and she moves around in a wheel chair.

Shooting for the film took place for 50 days and the scenes were shot in Madurai. Almost 90 per cent of the people involved were physically challenged with a handful of exceptions to give meaning to character of the film which talks about disability. The film is scheduled for release on May 14.

The technicians and members of the crew were selected after having competitions and were given training for five months in major aspects of filmmaking. Film Employees Federation of South India not only gave permission to all the technicians to work in the film but also waived the membership fee, informs producer of the film Madan Gabriel.

One of the highlights about the film production is the background music score which was composed by Gideon Karthik, a visually impaired person. A blind musician doing re-recording is almost an impossible condition but Karthik has done that. It was Karthik's 27 year old dream to compose music for a film.

The producers said that the effort got its due recognition by having an entry in the Limca Book of Records. The film which has no glamour and violence is expected to be dubbed in the major Indian languages.

The unfortunate thing is that there are no takers for the film to get it distributed and till date there is no detail about tax exemption, said Mr.Karthik. The film's trailer is also screened by an Italian television channel called Rai TV.

The producers also said that the film was not an effort done to get an entry into record books but to show the world that differently-abled can also achieve.

To exemplify that it is necessary for people to join hands with the differently abled and bring about a change to quell that state of feeling of disability more than empathising with it.

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