Dam 999

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Dam 999
DAM Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySohan Roy
Produced byBizTV Network
Written byRob Tobin
Sohan Roy
StarringVinay Rai
Ashish Vidyarthi
Joshua Fredric Smith
Rajit Kapur
Vimala Raman
Linda Arsenio
Music byOuseppachan
CinematographyAjayan Vincent
Edited bySuresh Pai
BizTV Network
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • 25 November 2011 (2011-11-25)
United Arab Emirates
LanguageEnglish Malayalam
Budget15 crores
Box officeest.25 crores

Dam 999 is a 2011 3-D science fiction disaster film. It is an English language UAEIndian co-production film produced by BizTV Network, UAE[1] and directed by Sohan Roy. The film is based on the award-winning short documentary DAMs - The Lethal Water Bombs.[2] and the Banqiao dam disaster of 1975 that claimed the lives of 250,000 people in China and anticipated calamity for outdated dams in the world.[3] The film falls in the category of an emotional thriller. The ancient Indian concept of Navarasas, or the nine human emotions, are represented by an assortment of actors from India and Hollywood. The movie also portrays the concepts of kamasutra as well as lost love against the backdrop of the story of a dilapidated colonial dam.[4][5]

Apart from being a controversial movie in India[6] with respect to its theme,[7] the Screenplay of the movie was added to the permanent core collection in Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences before its release in 2011.[8][9]


The story encompasses around nine characters portraying nine variants of emotion (Navarasa) and an outdated dam.[10]

The story starts with Vinay (Vinay Rai), who is a mariner and works in ships. One day he visits his native place, somewhere in Kerala, with his son Sam (Jineeth Rath) to meet his father Shankaran (Rajit Kapur). Shankaran is a village doctor or 'Vaidyan' and is also a master in astrology and the ancient sciences. Sam is a Diabetic and Vinay wanted to have him treated by his grandfather. Another story line is that of the orphan Meera (Vimala Raman), who has been staying with Shankaran since her childhood, treated as his own daughter and who helps him treat various patients. Vinay and Meera share a special bond and love each other. But when Shankaran studied their horoscopes, he learned that whenever they express their love towards each other, something terrible would happen. Learning this Meera sacrificed her love, and thus Vinay married Sandra (Linda Arsenio) who is a TV journalist. Now after a long time when Vinay returns home with his son, his special bond with Meera develops again with Meera reciprocating the feeling as well. On a parallel track, a corrupt Mayor - Durai (Ashish Vidyarthi)- is fighting an issue of an old dam in his area. Towards the end a leak is discovered inside the dam, and when a heavy storm and rains hit on the same day, a high alert is declared.




Dam999 is the result of inspiration of many real-life incidents. The movie is a tribute to the 250,000 people who lost their lives in the 1975 Banqiao Dam disaster in China.[11] As per producer-director Sohan, "The central character of the story is this dam and the life of a few mariners living near it. There are nine characters in the movie, representing the Navarasas. I believe that every individual is born with a sthayi bhava, but when his suppressed feelings burst, like a dam, it changes." [12]


The cast includes acclaimed Indian actor Ashish Vidyarthi. Veteran Malayalam actor Thilakan was originally cast to do an important role in the film.[13] He was replaced later, following a notice from Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) stating that if Thilakan acted in the film, the association would boycott it. Sohan said they were forced to seek for a substitute for Thilakan when it came to a point that shooting might be disrupted.[14] Eventually, Rajit Kapur was cast instead of Thilakan.[15] There were reports that Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) also had intervened in Thilakan's replacement.[15] In a related development, Thilakan and his supporters had a march towards the shooting location of the film at Alappuzha.[16]


Dam999 started its shooting at Alleppey, Kerala.[17] A number of unexpected hurdles were faced by the crew while shooting the movie. Veteran Malayalam actor Thilakan, who was supposed to be a part of Dam 999, was made to drop out of the project due to his battle with AMMA. However the problem was solved by replacing Thilakan with Bollywood Actor Rajit Kapoor. Thilakan was paid seven lakhs as compensation.[18][19][20] While the prior issue was still simmering, another lead character from India walked out due to disputes with the crew, while the shoot was in progress, bringing the movie to a halt.[21] The star cast of the movie was immediately altered and the initial sequences in Kerala was completed as planned.[22][23] From various exotic locations such as Ooty in India, the shoot of the movie progressed to Fujairah, UAE, where Dam 999 has captured a couple of its sequences on an oil tanker. The climax of the movie was compiled in an expensive set in Ramoji film city in Hyderabad, built by the Art Director Padmashree Thotta Tharani.[24][25][26] While in the stage of post production the movie grabbed the attention of the world owing to its story and title. Debates around the world regarding the ever existing fear of outdated dams have started to spring up. DAM 999 has 16 national and international award-winning cast and crew. It includes Suresh Pai: One among the top lead editors in Bollywood who won National Awards two times, Thotta Tharani : He has won National Film Award for art direction three times, Shajith Koyeri: A national award and film fare award winner in 2006, Pattanam Rasheed, S.B. Satheesh and V.Srinivas Murali Mohan.[27] Award-winning film maker James Cameron intends to make a movie based on displacement of indigenous people due to construction of dams; this movie is expected after DAM999.


Warner Bros.released DAM999 in India in both 2D and 3D on 25 November 2011. The movie also had a worldwide release in prominent countries simultaneously.

Festival screenings[edit]

The film was an official selection for the following film festivals:

  • Golden Rooster Awards (Chinese Oscars),China
  • Detective FEST,China
  • International Film Festival Antigua Barbuda International Film Festival for Environment, Health, and Culture 2013
  • Jaipur International Film Festival,India
  • Sangli Film Festival,India
  • Salento Int'l Film Festival,Italy
  • International FIlm Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality, Indonesia
  • Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival, Malaysia
  • Chain NYC Film Festival,USA
  • Louisville's International Festival of Film,USA
  • Trinity International Film Festival,USA
  • Laughlin International Film Festival,USA
  • 7th CMS VATAVARAN International Environment And Wildlife Film Festival and Forum 2013,New Delhi, INDIA
  • Cinerockom International Film Festival,USA
  • International Film Festival for Comedy, Romance and Musical 2013,Indonesia
  • Eko International Film Festival,Nigeria
  • International Film Festival for Spirituality, Religion and Visionary,Indonesia
  • Manya Human Rights International Film Festival 2013,Uganda
  • International Film Festival for Environment, Health, and Culture 2013,Indonesia
  • World Music and Independent Film Festival 2014,USA
  • Cinema Verde Environmental Film and Arts Festival 2015, USA
  • FiLUMS 2015 - International LUMS Film Festival 2015, Lahore,Pakistan
  • Columbia Gorge International Film Festival 2015, Venice,USA
  • Global Revolution Festival 2015, New York, United States
  • Glendale International Film Festival 2015, Glendale, United States
  • Iphias International Film Festival 2015, Falmouth, Trelawny, Jamaica
  • Nashik International Film Festival 2015, India
  • Eureka Springs Indie Film Fest 2015, Arkansas, United States
  • Film Festival The Goddess on the Throne 2015, Prishtine Kosovo
  • Piton International Film Festival 2015, Saint Lucia, North America,USA
  • FLY Film Festival 2015, DOWNTOWN ENID, OKLAHOMA
  • Sunrise Film festival 2015, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Global Revolution Festival 2015, New York,United States
  • Another Independent International Film Festival 2015, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
  • EyeCatcher International Film Festival 2015 August 2015, McAlester, United States
  • TrindieFest Film Festival 2015, Houston, United States
  • The World Humanitarian Awards 2015


DAM999 – The Novel is published by Indra Publishing House and was made available in the market before the release of the movie.Unexpected huge demands rose for the novel,[28] this is penned by director Sohan Roy & co-written by Naufal Ashraf and soon will be offered to the readers by the publisher.Indra Publishing House (IPH) is a publication house which provides a path to the fresh talent as well as existing authors. They have a wide distribution network across the nation and it covers all major cities of India.[29]


The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) complained that the film is based on the Mullaperiyar Dam dispute between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.[30] The DMK party chief M. Karunanidhi urged the Tamil Nadu chief minister J.Jayalalitha to ban the movie considering "people's safety".[31] A day before its scheduled release on 25 November, the film was banned by the State Government of Tamil Nadu on the grounds that the release would disturb the cordial relations between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.[32]

Challenging the Tamil Nadu government's ban on screening of his film Dam 999 in the State, Producer-director Sohan Roy, on 30 November 2011, moved to the Supreme Court with writ petition, questioning the subjective satisfaction of the Chief Minister (on whose directions the impugned 24 November order was passed), arrived on "narrow political objectives." He said the order had no constitutional, much less legal, basis.

He said the State suspended the screening of the Hollywood movie without hearing him or affording him an opportunity for clarification. The "arbitrary, unilateral and unjustified act" violated his fundamental right to freedom guaranteed under Article 19(1) (a).

Nowhere did the film say it was about the Mullaperiyar dam. Even an indirect mention of a water-sharing contract between two neighbouring States was deleted as per the request of the censor board.

Explaining the contents of the film, he said it "spreads the message about the consequences of dam disasters around the world."[33]

In response to this on 8 December 2011, the Supreme Court asked the Tamil Nadu government to hear the objections of Sohan Roy on 12 December and pass appropriate orders by 16 December.[34]

The Supreme Court on 24 January 2013 dismissed filmmaker Sohan Roy’s petition challenging a further extension of the ban by the Tamil Nadu government on screening of this film in the State. It further added, "the people are expecting this issue [of the Mullaperiyar dam] will be resolved. At this stage, why should we aggravate the situation not only in Tamil Nadu but also in Kerala? We can’t close our eyes to the objections and decide the case purely on legal aspects. We have to respect the sentiments of the people".[35]


Three of the soundtracks "Dakkanaga Dugu", "DAM999 Theme song" and "Mujhe Chodke" were officially eligible for 84th Academy Awards.[36][37] The music was composed Ouseppachan and the lyrics were penned by Sohan Roy. DAM999 was submitted in race for Best Picture[38] apart from being eligible for best Original score also for 84th Academy Awards.[39][40] The movie was sent to the Oscar awards by All Lights Film Services (ALFS) , one of the leading film consultants in India.[41]

DAM999 was titled as the very first Indian movie to be selected for Golden Rooster Awards 2012,[42] the national film award event conducted in Mainland China. The movie was officially suggested by renowned Israelian director Dan Wolman,[43] who is the prominent Jury of a number of International festivals.Dam999 is selected to compete under 12 categories in Golden Rooster Awards which took place in Shaoxing City towards the end of September 2012.[44]

Recently, DAM999 won Best Director and Best Feature Film award at the Cinerockom International Film Festival, Best International Feature Film, Special Jury Award, Best Movie of the Festival at International Film Festival for Environment, Health, and Culture 2013.[45] It was declared Best English Film at Sangli Film Festival [46] and adjudged as ‘Judges Favorite’ at International Film Festival – Antigua Barbuda[47] where the Director, Sohan Roy was honored with 'Star Achievement Award for his contribution to the film industry'.

Apart from the above accolades, DAM999 was selected for screening various global film festivals such as Tehran Film Festival, Jaipur International Film Festival,[48] Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival, Malaysia,[49] Chain NYC Film Festival, USA,[50] Louisville's International Festival of Film, USA [51] and Trinity International Film Festival, USA,[52] Laughlin International Film Festival, USA [53] and 10th Annual Salento Film Festival, Italy.[54]

Representation in events[edit]

BizTV network, the production house of Dam 999, represented the title in numerous film festivals and film markets such as Marche Du Film 2011,[55] Hong Kong Filmart 2011, European Film Market 2011,[56] American Film Market 2010[57] and Dubai International Film Festival 2010.[58]


Dam 999 released nationwide in 550 theaters of India and also in the Middle east.[59] The film opened to generally mixed to negative reviews.[60][61][62]


The soundtracks for DAM999 was penned by Sohan Roy and composed by Ouseppachan.[63] The movie totally comprised 9 multilingual soundtracks out of which 5 are in English, 2 are in Hindi, 2 are in Malayalam. The music of DAM999 was officially released at a grand event presided by A. R. Rahman where Ouesphachan, the music director of the movie handed the first copy to the maestro.[64] Apart from the launch at Chennai, DAM999 music was also launched at multiple other locations including Middle East and Southern Part of India.[65]

Three of the soundtracks "Dakkanaga Dugu", "DAM999 Theme song" and "Mujhe Chodke" were categorized eligible & selected for 84th Academy Awards among other 97 songs.[36][37]

1."Mujhe Chodke"Hariharan, Shreya Goshal5:46
2."Dam999 Theme Song"Suchith Suresan, Suvi Suresh, Ouseppachan4:49
3."Dakkanaga"Shakti Shree, Suchith Suresan, Ouseppachan4:53
4."Thottaduthu Nee"P. Jayachandran, K. S. Chithra4:39
5."Omanathingal"K. S. Chithra2:32
6."Everyday"Shakti Shree, Ouseppachan4:26
7."O My Queen"Franco4:12
8."I walk away"Nivedya, Nirmalya4:21
9."Baat Hai Kya"Niran Kootingal5:16

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BizTV Network Website". BizTV Network. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
  2. ^ "Spring 2011 Best Winners". Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood. 2009-10-14.
  3. ^ "Hindustan times". Hindustan times. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
  4. ^ "A film based on Mullaperiyar dam issue". The New Indian Express. 28 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Rimes of the modern mariner". The Week Manorama Online News. 21 February 2010.
  6. ^ "Controversy over 'Dam 999' movie". Times of India. 23 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Tamil Nadu cinema owners not to screen 'Dam 999'". Times of India. 23 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Dam999 screenplay added to Oscar's Library". Times of India. 2 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Dam 999 goes to the Oscar library". Rediff.com. 3 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Dam 999 Website". BizTV Network.
  11. ^ "I will be submitting Dam999 for the Oscars". Rediff.com. 22 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Nine's the word!". Chennai, India: The hindu. 24 October 2009.
  13. ^ "Thilakan to enter Hollywood". One India. 3 February 2009. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012.
  14. ^ "It's official; Thilakan is out of Dam 999". Nowrunning. 1 March 2010.
  15. ^ a b "Rajath Kapoor replaces Thilakan in Dam 999". One India. 11 March 2010. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Malayalam film body gives Thilakan another chance". Times of India. Retrieved 8 March 2010.[dead link]
  17. ^ "Shooting of DAM999 to commence at Alappuzha from Mar one". Kerala2010 Blogspot. 27 February 2010.
  18. ^ "Suspended from AMMA, Thilakan says he will not give up". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 1 March 2010.
  19. ^ "Thilakan out of Dam 999". indiaglitz. 3 March 2010.
  20. ^ "Thilakan paid compensation by 'Dam 999' makers". Nowrunning. 8 March 2010.
  21. ^ "Heroine issue stops 'Dam 999'". Indiaglitz. 26 March 2010.
  22. ^ "My toughest challenge was learning Telugu'". The New Indian Express. 13 May 2010.
  23. ^ "Dam 999 in trouble again!". Entertainment oneindia. 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  24. ^ "Smooth sailing". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 14 May 2010.
  25. ^ "Hyderabad witnesses climax of DAM 999 - A Sohan Roy Film – Shooting mostly complete - world premiere in October". Washingtonbanglaradio. 2 June 2010.
  26. ^ "DAM 999 has successfully completed its shoot in Hyderabad". Maritime-executive. 1 June 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  27. ^ "Disaster film opens Dam debate". The National, UAE. 29 October 2010.
  28. ^ "Huge demand for Sohan Roy's book Dam 999". daily Pioneer. 2011-11-29.
  29. ^ "DAM 999: A Novel". Coinjoos.com. 2011-10-14.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "DMK Members Raise 'Dam 999' Issue in Lok Sabha". Outlook. 24 November 2011. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  31. ^ Hindustan Times http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/TamilNadu/Tamil-Nadu-bans-film-Dam-999/Article1-773329.aspx. Retrieved 24 November 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ "TN govt. bans DAM 999". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
  33. ^ "Dam 999 producer moves Supreme Court against ban on film in Tamil Nadu". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 1 December 2011.
  34. ^ "Film ban: Hear Roy's objections and pass orders, Tamil Nadu told". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 December 2011.
  35. ^ Venkatesan, J. (25 January 2013). "We can't be blind to Tamil Nadu's fears over 'DAM 999', says Supreme Court". The Hindu. New Delhi, India.
  36. ^ a b "39 Songs Contend for Best Original Song Oscar". Collider.com. 19 December 2011.
  37. ^ a b "'DAM 999' Songs in Oscar Race". Latimes.com. 19 December 2011.
  38. ^ "http://movies.ndtv.com/movie_Story.aspx?id=ENTEN20110190514&keyword=&subcatg=". NDTV. 20 December 2011. External link in |title= (help)[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ "Now 'DAM 999' in Original Score Oscar race". Yahoo. 24 December 2011.
  40. ^ "97 Original Scores Up for Oscar". Collider.com. 23 December 2011.
  41. ^ "'Go Global' with All Lights Film Services". indiantelevision.org.in. 18 December 2013.
  42. ^ "After Oscars, DAM999 gets nominated in Golden Rooster Awards". Zee TV. 2 June 2012.
  43. ^ "After Oscars, DAM999 gets nominated in Golden Rooster Awards". Glamsham.com. 2 June 2012.
  44. ^ "After Oscars, DAM999 gets nominated in Golden Rooster Awards". Bollywoodtrade. 2 June 2012.
  45. ^ "Winners - International Film Festival Environment, Health, and Culture". internationalfilmfestivals.org. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  46. ^ "Children's Film Society, India". cfsindia.org. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  47. ^ "International Film Festival Antigua Barbuda". iffab.org. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  48. ^ "JIFF Jaipur International Film Festival-JIFF". jiffindia.org. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  49. ^ http://www.ecofilmfest.my/
  50. ^ "Submission Categories". Chain Film Festival 2017. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  51. ^ "Louisville International Film Festival | Committed to screening artistic films not usually presented through commercial venues". louisvillefilmfestival.org. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  52. ^ "TRINITY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  53. ^ "LIFF 2018". Laughlin International Film Festival. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  54. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  55. ^ "Sohan Roy's DAM 999 Receives Great Response at Marché du film, Cannes Film Festival". washingtonbanglaradio.com. 16 May 2011.
  56. ^ "DAM999 at European Film Market". damthemovie.com. 29 January 2011.
  57. ^ "3D Movie DAM999 in AFM 2010". zimbio.com. 20 October 2011.
  58. ^ "DAM999 at Dubai International Film Festival 2010". damthemovie.com. 22 December 2011.
  59. ^ "Dam 999 releases in 550 screens across India". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 25 November 2011.
  60. ^ "http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-11-24/news-interviews/30437158_1_dam-film-special-effects". External link in |title= (help)
  61. ^ "http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/review-dam-999-will-bore-you-to-death/20111126.htm". External link in |title= (help)
  62. ^ "http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/review_review-dam-999-is-a-dampner_1617577". External link in |title= (help)
  63. ^ "Dam999 music launch in UAE, Chennai and Kerala". Radio & Music.com. 14 November 2011.
  64. ^ "A.R. Rahman graces DAM999's global music launch". Glamsham.com. 12 November 2011.
  65. ^ "AR Rahman At DAM999 Music Launch". Stardust. 14 November 2011.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]