A festival of films and photographs presented by Film Heritage Foundation

IANS Photo

New Delhi, September 26 (IANSlife) As a prelude to a significant milestone in this year’s calendar -- India hosting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session for the first time since 1983 and amidst talk of Indian interest in hosting a future edition of the Olympic Games -- Film Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, presents Olympics in Reel Life -- A Festival of Films and Photographs, a first-of-its-kind two-week-long festival of Olympic films and exhibition of photographs in collaboration with the National Centre of the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai and India International Centre (IIC) in Delhi.

On September 15, the Ambassador of the Film Heritage Foundation and superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, joined by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Director, of Film Heritage Foundation, Olympic Gold Medalist Abhinav Bindra, esteemed hockey legend M.M. Somaya, and the renowned Badminton player Aparna Popat unveiled 'Olympics in Reel Life' poster thereby heralding the festival’s debut in India.

Celebrating the powerful union of film, art, and sports, the Olympics in Reel Life will be slated in 3 parts:

Olympic Movie Marathon - 33 films, 10 series, 7 days, 2 cities: The film programme has been designed as a movie marathon that will showcase Olympic films across continents and eras that reflect not just remarkable achievements of human sporting endeavor, but also the shifting social, cultural and political sands of the last century of our history. The films have been drawn from the extensive archives of the IOC as well as the Olympic Channel spanning over a century beginning from 1912.

The films will play through the day from 10 a.m. onwards at two venues at the NCPA in Mumbai and at the IIC in Delhi with the programme curated to engage a wide audience from school children to film and sports buffs and historians. The audience will have the rare opportunity to watch films beautifully restored and directed by acclaimed filmmakers from around including Carlos Saura, Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, and Leni Riefenstahl to name a few will also include glimpses of India’s journey at the Olympic Games.

Olypism Made Visible -- An international photography project led by the Olympic Museum: "Olympism Made Visible" will be an international photography project that will delve into the profound role of sports in society, showcasing its ability to act as a catalyst for social development and peace. While the spirit of the Olympics will shine brightly during each edition of the Games, its influence will extend far beyond these moments, thanks to the tireless efforts of global organizations, supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and dedicated individuals and programs that will share a common mission: to use sports as a means to create a better world.

Since the project’s inception in 2018, the Olympic Museum has invited 12 acclaimed fine art photographers to bring their creative perspectives to the practice of sport in different communities around the world. 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. The exhibition will also include works by internationally renowned photographers, Dana Lixenberg and Lorenzo Vitturi, which will be presented in Mumbai. Olympism Made Visible gives visibility to critical issues that call for continued global solidarity and promote the notion of sport as a universal human right, for the joy, excellence, respect, and friendship that it fosters.

Indians in Olympics -- Iconic photographs that will shine a spotlight on Indian sportspersons at the Olympic Games over decades across the city of Mumbai: The third segment of the program in partnership with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) aims to create an atmosphere of celebration for India's remarkable achievements at the Olympics with a curated selection of photographs that vividly capture iconic images and poignant moments featuring India's distinguished sports persons at the Olympic Games across the decades. These striking images will grace 15 prominent locations throughout the city of Mumbai, serving as a constant and inspiring reminder to the thousands who pass by. They will showcase the incredible diversity of Indian sportspersons, including hockey players, athletes, boxers, archers, shooters, weightlifters, gymnasts, shuttlers, and tennis players who have proudly represented our nation at the Olympic Games, leaving an indelible mark of pride and accomplishment.

Commenting on the upcoming event, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, filmmaker, archivist, and the founder and director of Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) says, " As India prepares to host the International Olympic Committee session in Mumbai this year since 1983 and amidst talk of Indian interest in hosting a future edition of the Olympic Games, Film Heritage Foundation is delighted to present a truly unique event - Olympics in Reel Life – A Festival of Films and Photographs in partnership with the Olympic Museum based in Lausanne, Switzerland, that will be a showcase of the heritage, art, and culture of the Olympic Games captured on still and moving images.

"The IOC 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. We will also be presenting Olympism Made Visible an exhibition of fine art photography that includes the work of internationally acclaimed photographers like Dana Lixenberg, Lorenzo Vitturi, and Poulomi Basu. I would urge people in Mumbai and Delhi not to miss this one-of-a-kind festival that marries sport, art, and film.”

The event is supported by BookASmile - the charity initiative of BookMyShow, Qube Cinema Technologies, and Hyperlink. In a tie-up with the BMC in Mumbai and INTACH in Delhi, children from local schools will be invited to watch the films in Mumbai and Delhi.

(The festival is slated to take place in Mumbai from October 1-7, 2023 at NCPA in Mumbai, and in New Delhi from October 7-14, 2023 at IIC in New Delhi.)