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<i>Mattha</i> about Trans Sexuals

Monday, November 13, 2006
Chennai (UNI): Commercial pot boilers may be its 'staple diet', but Tamil film industry, popularly known as 'Kollywood', has also been making some socially relevant films focussing on several issues. Mr Baboos, hailing from Kerala, will make a movie, on the lives of transsexuals, who are totally neglected by the society. In fact, Mr Baboos had even enacted a supporting character role as a transsexual in a Tamil Movie Goalmaal, for which he shaved off his beard. The character of a maid-servant in Goalmaal drew attention of not only the film personalities but also popular story writers like Balakumaran.

Talking to UNI, Mr Baboos said in his new movie Mattha he would give importance to transsexuals by selecting them for all women characters. He has already made several documentary films highlighting the evils of child marriage, improper divorce (talak) system among the Muslims and AIDS awareness. He was recommended for Panaroma Award for his powerful screen play for a documentary Mottu, which focussed on bad effects of child marriage. He has also enacted the role of a physically handicapped beggar in a documentary produced by Director Pon Vannan.

For another documentary Sapalam (1977) made for creating awareness on AIDS, the State Aids Control Society rewarded him with Rs 1.65 lakhs, which he donated to the same society for the welfare of HIV/AIDS patients. Mr Baboos said though several movies had been made on transsexuals in different languages, no one had probed their feelings of the transexuals. His movie would attempt to highlight their plight, emotions and feeling. Blaming the transsexuals for their present predicament, he said. Their unwarranted and irregular lifestyles were one of the main reasons for their exclusion from the society.

''Why the transsexuals are leading a life of fear and are hiding'', Mr Baboos asked. He charged the parents of the transsexuals with negligence and uncaring attitude towards their wards. The parents of mentally challenged children struggle hard to provide care and affection to them, he said, adding, similarly, the parents of the transsexuals should dedicate themselves to bring up the child. But they are put to a lot of hardships at a young age and due to this inhuman attitude, the transexuals, when they grow up, involve themselves in begging, prostitution and other anti-social activities, he said.

When asked the reason for giving the title Mattha for his movie, he said there is a temple for transsexuals in Gujarat, where the presiding deity's name was Mattha. Lot of transsexuals from different parts of the world visit the temple and offer prayers. The shooting for the major part of his movie would be done in this place, he said.

Referring to the story of his movie, he said the movie unfolds the life of a transsexual from the age of eight to 60. It would present the struggles the transsexual undergoes. Over 100 transsexuals would act in the movie and at least 500 of them would be invited for the film's Pooja, which would be performed some time next month, he said. Sri Lanka based Industrialist Srijit Nayar is the producer of the film, while his friend working in a private commercial bank had assured him to extend some financial assistance to meet the film's budget.

He would offer a role to anyone, who would contribute money for making the film. Mr Baboos said there would not be any separate track for comedy or any other subject in the movie. Apart from story, screenplay, dialogue and direction he was planning to write a song for the film. The other five songs would be written by a popular lyricist. Popular transsexual actors, including Priya Babu, Priyadarshini, Dayana, Sabeena, would play an important role in the movie.

Mohanbabu would compose music for the film and Tamil Maran would pan the camera.

He hope mattha would win recognition for the transsexuals.

He said presently he was very busy with serials namely 'Selvi' and 'Theerkka Sumangali'. His villain character (Pandiyan) in the serial'Selvi' had attracted lakhs of tele-serial viewers.

About his future plans, he said he would produce at least one film every year highlighting social issues.

He would produce a 10-minute documentary titled ''Kadalamma'' based on the tsunami disaster, he revealed.

The documentary would mainly concentrate on environment aspects particularly the pollution created by the people. ''Sea'' would be the main character and the story would be presented from the perspective of the Sea.

The documentary would attempt to create a public awareness on protection of environment and ill-effects of pollution, he added.

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