The ambassador of the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF), and megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who unveiled the poster of ‘Olympics in Reel Life – A Festival of Films and Photographs’, said it will remind us of the achievements of the Indian Olympians.
As India gears up to host the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session after 40 years, and amid talk of Indian interest in hosting a future edition of the Olympic Games, the Mumbai-based Film Heritage Foundation, and Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland have joined hands to present ‘Olympics in Reel Life – A Festival of Films and Photographs.’ The festival is in collaboration with The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), and India International Centre (IIC).
During the release of the poster, Big B was joined by Film Heritage Foundation Director, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur; Olympic Gold Medalist Abhinav Bindra; hockey legend M.M. Somaya; and the renowned Badminton player Aparna Popat.
Talking about the same, Amitabh said: “I am delighted to hear that Film Heritage Foundation is partnering with the Olympic Museum to present a unique event this October in Mumbai and Delhi – ‘Olympics in Reel Life’ – A Festival of Films and Photographs that will celebrate over a century of film heritage beginning from the 1912 film of the Stockholm Olympiad.”
“Most people are not aware that some of the most renowned filmmakers from around the world have made more than 50 Official films that represent some of the greatest sport documentaries made in the world. Audiences in Mumbai and Delhi will have the rare opportunity to indulge in an Olympic movie marathon as films will be screened through the day over two weeks showcasing over a century of sporting history through Olympic films and an exhibition of photographs that capture the spirit and philosophy of the Olympics as well as Indians at the Games over the decades,” said the ‘Piku’ fame actor.
Amitabh further said: “Being an Olympian is a mark of great honour for a sportsperson and a goal that many of them strive for years to achieve often under great hardship. The festival will remind us of the achievements of our Indian Olympians in photographs and films which capture not just the incredible human endeavour of sport, but also the historical and social context in which the Olympic Games are held around the world.”
“We are fortunate that the Olympic Museum has preserved and restored these films so that the film heritage and culture of this majestic sporting event is available for future generations to enjoy,” added the 80-year-old actor.
At the heart of this initiative lies a curated festival of Olympic-themed films, meticulously sourced from the Olympic Museum’s renowned collection. The films have been directed by acclaimed filmmakers, including Carlos Saura, Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa and Leni Riefenstahl, among others.
Complementing this cinematic experience, a captivating photo exhibition titled “Olympism Made Visible” by renowned photographers like Dana Lixenberg, Lorenzo Vitturi and Poulomi Basu reveal the Olympic values and their impact when sport is placed at the service of humankind through community-based development initiatives in such areas as humanitarian assistance, the promotion of peace, or health and well-being through sport.
The highlight will be the unveiling of the stunning photographs of award-winning photographer Poulomi Basu recently shot in Odisha that will be put on public display for the first time.
This unique endeavour also celebrates India’s rich Olympic legacy, featuring iconic photographs of national sporting heroes like Neeraj Chopra, PV Sindhu, Mirabai Chanu, and Milkha Singh who made the nation proud at the Olympic Games.
At the commencement of ‘Olympics in Reel Life’, in a tie-up with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), FHF and the Olympic Museum will showcase iconic photographs of Indians in the Olympics over the decades at 15 prominent locations throughout the city of Mumbai.
Filmmaker, archivist and founder director of film heritage foundation, Dungarpur said: “The Olympic Museum has a fantastic collection of archival films dating back over a century, many of them directed by some of the most renowned filmmakers in the world. The film programme includes 33 films and 10 series that is a feast for cinephiles, sports, and history buffs and children offering them a rare opportunity to immerse themselves through the day for a week to watch not only some of the greatest sporting moments of both Indian and international champions over the decades but also the changing history of the world reflected in these moving images.”
“In a true celebration of our Indian Olympians, we will be putting up iconic photographs of Indian champions in 15 prime locations across the city. I would urge people in Mumbai and Delhi not to miss this one-of-a-kind festival that marries sport, art, and film,” he added.
This first-of-its-kind festival is slated to take place in Mumbai at the NCPA from October 1 to 7, and in Delhi at IIC from October 7 to 14.