• Olympics in Reel Life – A Festival of Films and Photographs will be presented by Film Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Olympic Museum this October in collaboration with The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), BookASmile – the charity initiative of BookMyShow, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Qube Cinema Technologies, India International Centre (IIC) and Abhinav Bindra Foundation.
• The much-awaited festival will grace the city of Mumbai from October 1-7, 2023 and New Delhi from October 7-14, 2023
• The first-of-its-kind festival will have 3 strands which will include – A festival of 33 Olympic films and 10 series, Olympism Made Visible – selected works from an Olympic Museum international photography project to explore the role of sport in society and as a catalyst for social development and peace by renowned photographers Poulomi Basu, Dana Lixenberg and Lorenzo Vitturi and Indians in Olympics – iconic photographs that will shine a spotlight on Indian sportspersons at the Olympic Games over decades.
• “Experience the Magic of ‘Olympics in Reel Life’ at Two Iconic Venues: NCPA in Mumbai with Film screenings at the Little Theatre and Godrej Dance Theatre and photo exhibition at Open Air Plaza and film screenings at the C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium at the IIC in New Delhi
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. 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.
On September 15, Ambassador of the Film Heritage Foundation and superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, joined by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Director, 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, Olympics in Reel Life will be slated in 3 parts:
1. Olympic Movie Marathon- 33 FILMS, 10 SERIES, 7 DAYS, 2 Cities.
2. OLYMPISM MADE VISIBLE- an international photography project led by the Olympic Museum.
3. 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 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 that will also include glimpses of India’s journey at the Olympic Games.
“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, 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.
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.
Highlights: Olympic Movie Marathon; Films to watch out for
• “The Games of V Olympiad Stockholm, 1912” – the earliest film being showcased restored by the International Olympic Committee that is astonishing for the quality of its images.
• Kon Ichikawa’s 1965 film “Tokyo Olympiad” described as “a masterpiece of visual design” by film critic Donald Richie.
• “The Glory of Sport” (1948) – official film of London 1948 and the first film in color which marked the first gold medal win of India’s hockey team as an independent nation.
• “Visions of Eight” – 1973 anthology of films directed by renowned filmmakers like Milos Forman, John Schlesinger and Arthur Penn.
• Leni Riefenstahl’s “Olympia”[EH3] (1938) – that remains a milestone in sports films.
• Carlos Saura’s 1993 film “Marathon” used the men’s marathon as a symbol of the human endeavor and endurance required in this Olympic event.
• Masahiro Shinoda’s Sapporo Winter Olympics (1972) that has some of the most beautiful imagery amongst the films.
• Bud Greenspan’s “16 Days of Glory” (1986) that set a new standard for Olympic films, by virtue of its range and depth of coverage.
• “The Olympics in Mexico” (1969) that was nominated for an Academy Award
• First” directed by Caroline Rowland – official film of the London 2012 Olympics that profiles first-time Olympians from around the world.
• Beijing 2022” produced by Zhang Yimou and directed by Lu Chuan – that takes the viewer behind the scenes of the Beijing Winter Olympics and the challenges of hosting the event in the midst of the global pandemic.
Olympic Channel Series: Highlights
• Jee Jaan Se: India’s Olympic Hopefuls – The journeys of India’s Olympic hopefuls told by coaches, family members, loved ones and the athletes themselves. Featuring Amit Panghal, Bajrang Punia, Kamalpreet Kaur, Manu Bakher, Neeraj Chopra and Rani Rampal.
• Sports Swap India: A light-hearted series as India’s best cricketers and Olympians swap sports for a day.
Olympism Made Visible – Highlights
• Unveiling of award-winning photographer Poulomi Basu’s stunning photographs recently shot in Odisha that will be displayed in public for the first time.
• The exhibition will include works of renowned international photographers Dana Lixenberg and Lorenzo Vitturi under the Olympism Made Visible project.
• During the course of the event, there will also be photography workshops held by renowned photographers Lorenzo Vitturi and Dana Lixenberg on October 3rd at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. respectively and a discussion titled “Behind the Lens of Olympism Made Visible: In Conversation with Dana Lixenberg and Lorenzo Vitturi on October 2nd at 6 p.m.” – a conversation between Dana Lixenberg, Lorenzo Vitturi and acclaimed Indian photographers Sooni Taraporevala and Sunhil Sippy.
SHIVENDRA SINGH DUNGARPUR – FILMMAKER, ARCHIVIST & FOUNDER DIRECTOR OF FILM HERITAGE FOUNDATION
“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 to 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 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.”
YASMIN MEICHTRY, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE CULTURE AND HERITAGE DEPARTMENT
“This festival is truly the first of its kind in India – a unique and rare opportunity to view world-class films and photographs selected from the rich heritage collections of the International Olympic Committee,” said Yasmin Meichtry, Associate Director of the IOC’s Culture and Heritage Department. “From short film series to award-winning feature-length documentaries and the internationally acclaimed Olympism Made Visible photography series, we are proud to present such a wide selection of works. Through this Olympic Museum partnership with Film Heritage Foundation, we can advance shared knowledge of Olympic history and engagement with the Olympic values and inspire India on its own Olympic journey.”
MR. KHUSHROO N. SUNTOOK, CHAIRMAN NCPA
“The zeitgeist of a nation replete with possibilities is shaped at the intersection of sports, art and culture. As India’s major platform for artistic expression, the NCPA is delighted to host the week- long Olympics in Reel Life: A Festival of Films and Photographs. It has been our constant endeavour to support India’s presence on the global stage. The event promises to be a remarkable visual spectacle and it is a great privilege for us to enable India’s calibre and Olympic spirit. We look forward to welcoming you.”
AMITABH BACHCHAN – ACTOR AND FILM HERITAGE FOUNDATION AMBASSADOR:
“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.
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.”
ABHINAV BINDRA – INDIA’S FIRST-EVER INDIVIDUAL GOLD MEDALLIST – WON GOLD AT THE 10 M AIR RIFLE EVENT AT OLYMPIC GAMES BEIJING 2008
“Winning an Olympic gold medal was a dream I ardently pursued, for it represents the pinnacle of sporting achievement. Yet, upon attaining it, I discovered that