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About Maadathy – An Unfairy Tale

Runtime: 90 minutes

Language: Tamil

Genre: Drama

India is a land of Subaltern deities. Each deity has an unique legend and these legends are often interwoven with socio-historic tropes of India. Puthirai vannaar is an ‘unseeable’ Dalit caste group, in southern India.Their forced-occupation is to wash clothes of other Dalits, the dead and the menstruating women. This film is a tale about a young girl who grew up in Puthirai vannaar caste group and how she came to be immortalised as their local deity, Maadathy.


Live Q&A


Aurangabad International Film Festival

2020 Winner Jury Award Best Film Maadathy: An Unfairy Tale (2019) Shared with: Bhavana Goparaju

Director: Leena Manimekalai

Leena Manimekalai is a poet and filmmaker committed to social justice. Her narrative documentaries on the dynamics of caste, gender, globalisation, art therapy, student politics, eco-feminism, indigenous people’s rights, and LGBTQ lives have been internationally acclaimed and have won several awards in prestigious international film festivals and civil rights circuits. Her debut fiction ‘Sengadal/the Deadsea’ won her NAWFF(Network of Women Film Festivals) Award at Tokyo for the Best Asian Woman Cinema and also was recognised with prestigious Indian Panorama selections after the initial ban by Central Board of Film Certification(CBFC), India – that got cleared through several months of the legal battle. One of her documentary ‘Goddesses’ has won her Golden Conch at MIFF and Nominations for Horizon Award in Munich and Asia Pacific Screen Award in Melbourne. ‘White Van Stories’ an exclusive doc-feature on enforced disappearances on SriLanka was shot by her and won her accolades in platforms like Channel 4 and Al Jazeera. Her recent documentary co-produced with NHK Japan is currently doing festival rounds and has already won Best Documentary Award at Singapore International Documentary Festival and Jury Mention at the prestigious Film South Asia, Nepal. Additionally, Leena has received the Charles Wallace Art Award, the EU Fellowship and the Commonwealth Fellowship for her work in Cinema and Gender. She has published five poetry collections and is currently editing her non-fiction feature ‘Rape Nation’ that traces the lives and struggles of rape survivors across the Indian Subcontinent. ‘Maadathy- an unfairy tale’ is her second feature fiction and it has started its journey with its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival on October 2019 with a great lineup of Festival Premieres further in other territories..