Filmmaker Venkatesh Kumar is running from pillar to post for getting censor bard certificate for his Tamil film 'Neelam'. Based on the Sri Lankan war and the life and times of the LTTE militants, the film is now deemed unfit for public release since it may lead to tension between India and Sri Lanka.
The film had previously run into trouble in 2013 when film makers received threat calls. Speaking to the New Indian Express, Kumar said, "The producers (Renuka and Kishore) were not supportive. And so, I made another feature film, Lightman, and now, I’ve reshot all the old portions painstakingly. To be told now that the trailer that runs for about four minutes and 30 seconds is considered a threat to the India-Sri Lanka relationship is really the last straw."
Speaking about the film in details, he said, "I have shown the beginnings of Velupillai Prabhakaran, and how he rose as a leader. Initially, I never thought I’d face any trouble. I am not justifying whatever Prabhakaran did. My film’s an honest account of how the genocide happened."
A disciple of late Balu Mahendra, Kumar expressed his guru's desire to make a similar film. Balu Mahendra always wanted to direct a film based on Tamil Eelam. The Sri Lankan government sees Prabhakaran as a terrorist, but we (Tamilians) see him as a hero.” He further expressed his disappointment saying that although India claims to be a democratic country, it does not provide freedom of expression to filmmakers and creative people.
Venkatesh has appealed to the Mumbai head office now. He says, "If I don’t get a positive response, I have to deal with this in court. I was even ready to chop scenes or mute words. I haven’t made a porn film. Even those films are getting released without trouble these days."