Goddesses is an observational documentary on three ordinary women who live extra ordinary lives surviving darkest of times and gone against society's norms to live and work according to the rules they have set for themselves.
Lakshmi, a professional 'funeral singer': She visits death houses with a troop of drummers and for a measly pay, she wails and laments and shares the grief of the other mourners. The throb of the drums and her ankle bells resonate in the house long after she has left.
Krishnaveni, the ‘grave-digger’: Dead unknown earn her the daily meal.Veni accepts unclaimed bodies from the local Police and gives them a decent burial or cremation, digging and maintaining the graves herself.
Sethuraku, the ‘fisherwoman’: What is normally considered as taboo for women? is confidently done by this lady. She goes out to sea, every morning with a few fellow fisherwomen to collect fish and prawns, singing to welcome the day.
Golden Conch, Best Documentary, Mumbai International Film Festival 2008
The young filmmaker, Leena Manimekalai, is faced with three old material goddesses who for different reasons find themselves naturally emancipated from Tamil tradition and orthodoxy. Leena creates for Goddesses a trusting filming arena that was never manipulative so that the three women opened up and revealed their total strength and power bordering on the archetype. They emerged free, master of the very tradition that had earlier kept them shackled.For more info http://www.miffindia.in/AwardsInternational.aspx
- Nominated for Horizon Award, Munich International Film festival, 2008
- Mention, IAWRT International Documentary Film Competition, Women Building Peace, Nairobi, Kenya 2007
- Jury Award, John Abraham National Awards for Cinema Of Resistance, SIGNS 2007, Trivandrum, Kerala
- Best Documentary, National Competition, One Billion Eyes Documentary Film Festival 2008
- Official Selection, International Competition, Tri Continental Film Festival, South Africa 2008
- Official Selection, International Factual Competition, Roma Fiction Film Festival, Rome, 2008
- Official Selection, National Competition, International Video Film Festival of Kerala, 2008
- Nomination, Asia Pacific Awards, Brisbane, Australia, 2008
- Official Selection, Birds Eye View Film Festival, London, March 2009
- Official Selection, Belgrade Documentary Film Festival, May 2009
- Official Selection, The International Film Festival Puebla (FICPuebla), Guatemala & Mexico, 2013