1999 was directed by Lenin M. Sivam, an Eezham Tamil of Canada and a software professional. The festival also showcased some of the short films that were made by Eezham Tamils. A short film called Vanni Mouse by director Tamilian Subas from Norway received the best short film award.
The festival featured 15 recently released films including 1999, Samuthirakani"s Naadodigal, Mishkin"s Nandalala, and Sasikumar"s Subramaniapuram. It is a huge honour to see 1999 compete and win the prestigious award amongst these high calibre films, Tamil circles in Oslo said. This also marks the European Premiere for 1999. The film festival was organized by Vaseeharan Sivalingam's 'VN Music Dreams' a Norway based music company in association with multi-cultural newspaper Utrop.
The film 1999, featuring violence-affected Eezham Tamils struggling to adjust their lives in Canada, is the first full-feature production of the largely self-made filmmaker. Sivam, 35, born in Jaffna and migrated to Canada in 1991, earlier produced successful short films in Tamil. His father V M L Sivam was playwright, director and actor in his home country.
The short film Vanni Mouse had won a special award in Tamil Nadu at Periyar Thirai Short Film Festival organised by the media department of the Periyaar Self-Respect movement in December 2009.