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Debutant director Ajay Nuthakki, whose Tamil-Telugu bilingual political-drama Ravana Desam is based on the missing refugees during the 2009 civil war in Sri Lanka, believes most true incidents-based movies receive flak from audiences and critics alike, but that shouldn't deter filmmakers from attempting it.
"It's common that films based on true events receive some criticism, but most of these films are lauded for their effort. I believe my film will earn some appreciation too along with some disapproval. These reasons should not stop someone from making a film on true events," Nuthakki told IANS.
"Even though my film is based on true events, I have built the premise on a very simple theme that humans are still animals and are likely to go extinct soon. What happened in Sri Lanka in 2009 was described by the UN as a bloodbath," he said.
Having spent nearly four years on the project, including a couple of years on research, Nuthakki says with pride that the time spent was worth it.
"Nearly two years were spent on getting the facts right. A lot of time was also spent on shooting, especially the second half that was shot for nearly 120 days on water. The film tracks the story of those refugees who went missing en route to Tamil Nadu by sea," said Nuthakki.
"It was extremely challenging. A lot of the actors fell ill due to sea sickness. We had to stall the shooting at regular intervals. I never gave up because I think the time spent on the project was totally worth it. My producer is happy with the output," he added.
Starring newcomers Jennifer and Ramesh in the lead roles, Ravana Desam is produced by New Empire Celluloid.
Telugu producer Dil Raju has agreed to distribute the film in Telugu, but Nuthakki is finding it challenging to find takers in Tamil. "As a debutant, you need references to even meet people. I hope to find a distributor in Tamil as well to back my film," he added.