regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Sports film festival to begin at Nandan, screening of 12 films to be done

The International Sports Film Festival of India is being organised by Social Sports Foundation (SSF) and Federation of Film Societies of India (eastern region)

Sudeshna Banerjee Published 22.06.23, 05:51 AM

A sports film festival will be held at Nandan 3 from Thursday, in which 12 films will be screened over four days.

The International Sports Film Festival of India is being organised by Social Sports Foundation (SSF) and Federation of Film Societies of India (eastern region).


“There are 11 film festivals which are dedicated exclusively to sports across the globe. Ours will be the twelfth,” said organising committee secretary Rongon Majumder. “All of us are involved in administrative capacities in one sport or the other. But we could not hold such creative events under the banner of our respective sports associations. So we decided to form a foundation to hold events that would involve both sports and society at large,” added Majumder, a former general secretary of Bengal Table Tennis Association.

The best-known among the films to be screened is Invictus (Friday, 3pm), directed by Clint Eastwood. It tells the story of Nelson Mandela’s effort to unite South Africa divided by race after becoming President by reaching out to the captain of the Springboks, the national rugby team, which is jeered by black spectators as a symbol of white oppression, by supporting their near-impossible bid to win the rugby World Cup. The film earned Morgan Freeman, playing Mandela, and Matt Damon, playing the Springboks captain Francois Pienaar, Academy Award nominations.

Another must-watch movie is The Miracle of Bern (Sunday, 1pm). One of four German films being screened, it chronicles the unbelievable World Cup triumph of the Germans in a remarkable final against Hungary, undefeated for four years. The team came back from an early two-goal deficit to win 3–2 against the Mighty Magyars and lift the Jules Rimet trophy at Bern in 1954. The on-field action is seen through the prism of a family of a former prisoner of war and his son. Germany, which had been spiritually and economically shattered by the war. Winning the Jules Rimet Trophy by beating the world’s strongest team gave the country new pride and heralded Germany’s economic and political recovery.

While the opening film is Lahore, a Hindi film on kickboxing (Thursday, 1pm), the festival will conclude with 83, the Ranveer Singh-starrer on India’s 1983 cricket World Cup victory. “We chose the day of the screening, June 25, as it marks 40 years of Kapil Dev lifting the Prudential Trophy,” Majumder said.

The Bengali films being screened are Damal, the first sports movie from Bangladesh (Friday, 4,30pm), Egaro, on Mohun Bagan’s legendary IFA Shield victory over East Yorkshire Regiment in 1911 (Thursday, 4.30pm) and Lorai, a Prosenjit Chatterjee-helmed football film, directed by Parambrata Chatterjee (Saturday, 4.30pm).

Entry is free but passes will have to be collected from the venue.

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