The Kerala Story, a national blockbuster mired in controversies, was released in more than 200 screens in the US and Canada on Friday with its director Sudipto Sen saying that the movie is a mission which is beyond the creative boundaries of cinema.
"The country was in denial of the long existing issue in the state of Kerala. The Kerala Story is a mission which is beyond the creative boundaries of cinema, a movement that should reach the masses all over the world and raise awareness," Sen told a group of Indian American reporters during a virtual news conference.
"The film's subject was hidden from the masses and deserved to be told. We made the film in order to initiate deliberation worldwide," said the producer of the film, Vipul Shah.
The film tells the story of three girls who were converted to Islam and ended up joining the ISIS.
"This is a very bold, honest and true film which in the beginning got no support, today stands at the point of releasing worldwide with a spectacular box office success in just 6 days," Shah said in response to a question at the virtual news conference organised by its Impact Advisor Priya Sawant and community leader Vijay Pallod.
The film, which has been vociferously championed by the Hindu right, including the BJP, has been boycotted by cinemas across Tamil Nadu and has been criticised by many for originally claiming in a teaser that 32,000 girls from Kerala fled the state to join ISIS.
The film's makers were earlier ordered by the Kerala High Court to remove the teaser from its publicity campaign, including social media posts. The film has been banned by the West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee.
Adah Sharma, the film's leading lady, offered her opinion on the significance of both the story and the subject, stressing the necessity to address and ending such inhuman practices in society.