Director K Ganeshan, whose film 18.05.2009 was released last weekend, believes himself he has the "blessings of the thousands of Tamils who were massacred by the Sri Lankan Army on May 18, 2009." He says he endured a tough time trying to get the film released. "The release is not just a victory for me, but for everyone who stood by me during testing times."
An emotional Ganeshan says that he warred with the censor board. "Ultimately, I got cleared by the revised committee with the condition that the film be called fiction. It was futile to impress upon the censor board members that only facts were depicted in the film, and that it was the product of many years of research," he says. "They kept harping that the relations with Sri Lanka are cordial now. My film though is based on events from nearly a decade ago, the culmination of which was the murder of a Sri Lankan Tamil journalist during the civil war." The filmmaker, who claims he has proof to substantiate his claims, is disappointed though that the media hasn't really taken to his film. "This was a film about the suffering of our brethren, after all."
He has, however, made his peace with the fact that the film has been allowed to release. "I caught a show at one of the multiplexes, and the film ran for only four days. But seeing some viewers look shocked and lost for words after watching the film, made me forget all the pain."
His film getting released on May 18 was no mere coincidence. "I worked really hard to get that date. There is a misconception that the film is based on the killing of Isaipriya, a Sri Lankan Tamil journalist, during the final days of the Lankan Civil war in 2009. My protagonist, Tamilselvi, happens to be a hapless journalist, battered, bruised and raped. She was among scores of women, who resigned to their fate and stuck to their decision to not leave their motherland."
Ganeshan hopes to take his film to festivals across the globe. "Countries like China, Pakistan, Israel, and others supplied arms to the Lankan Army. I have enough material to make ten films on the sordid happenings. I am exhausted, but not finished yet. Wherever Tamils get a raw deal, I am there for them."