October 1 – 7, 2023 in Mumbai and October 7 – 14, 2023 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, Abhinav Bindra Foundation and Hyperlink.
The festival has three strands:
- A festival of 33 films and 10 series beginning from 1912 curated from the collection of the Olympic Museum that includes official Olympic Games films made by celebrated directors like Kon Ichikawa, Milos Forman, Carlos Saura, Leni Riefenstahl and John Schlesinger and series from the Olympic Channel that include India’s journey at the Olympics.
- Olympism Made Visible – An international photography project to explore the role of sport in society and as a catalyst for social development and peace featuring work of renowned photographers like Poulomi Basu, Dana Lixenberg and Lorenzo Vitturi.
- Indians in Olympics – iconic photographs that will shine a spotlight on Indian sportspersons at the Olympics over decades.
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.”
POSTER LAUNCH – PHOTO GALLERY:
DATES: OCTOBER 1 – 7, 2023
VENUE: NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS (NCPA)
Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400 021.
Film screenings at the Little Theatre and Godrej Dance Theatre.
Photo Exhibition at the Open Air Plaza.
DATES: OCTOBER 7 – 14, 2023
VENUE: INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE (IIC)
40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi – 110 003.
Film screenings at the C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium
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.”
FILM FESTIVAL – AN OLYMPIC MOVIE MARATHON
33 FILMS, 10 SERIES, 7 DAYS, 2 CITIES
The film festival 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 endeavour, 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 Olympic Museum as well as the Olympic Channel spanning over a century beginning from 1912.
The films will play through the day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 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 Olympics.
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 the London 1948 and the first film in colour 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” (1938) – that remains a milestone in sports films
- Carlos Saura’s 1993 film “Marathon” that used the men’s marathon as a symbol of the human endeavour 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:
- Jee Jaan Se: India’s Olympic Hopefuls
- An Olympic Tale: The Best of India at the Olympics
- Sports Swap India: India’s best cricketers and Olympians swap sports for a day
(Click on image to read the full screening schedule)
AMITABH BACHCHAN – ACTOR AND FILM HERITAGE FOUNDATION AMBASSADOR:
“As the Ambassador of Film Heritage Foundation and a passionate advocate for the cause of preserving our film heritage, I was 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.”
OLYMPISM MADE VISIBLE
Olympism Made Visible is an international photography project led by The Olympic Museum, to 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.
Since the project’s inception in 2018, The Olympic Museum has invited 10 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 that will be presented in Mumbai will also include works by internationally renowned photographers, Dana Lixenberg and Lorenzo Vitturi.
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
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.
- Workshops with the renowned photographers Dana Lixenberg and Lorenzo Vitturi
- Moderated discussion: In conversation with Dana and Lorenzo
DANA LIXENBERG AND LORENZO VITTURI IN MUMBAI:
DANA LIXENBERG (1964, THE NETHERLANDS)
MIDDLE EAST – AMMAN, JORDAN
Generations for Peace: Sport and Arts as a Vehicle for Peace Building
Dana Lixenberg (1964, Netherlands) is a Dutch photographer and filmmaker. She lives and works in New York and Amsterdam. Lixenberg pursues long-term projects on individuals and communities on the margins of society. Lixenberg studied photography at the London College of Printing (1984–1986) and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (1987–1989). She has had work published in Newsweek, Vibe, New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone.
Lixenberg pursues long-term projects with a primary focus on individuals and communities on the margins of society, such as Jeffersonville, Indiana, a collection of landscapes and portraits of the small town’s homeless population photographed over a seven-year period, and The Last Days of Shishmaref, which portrays an Inupiaq community on an eroding island of the coast of Alaska. She photographed Prince and Whitney Houston in an honest and introspective way. All her work is made with a large format camera.
Decisive in her career was the first series of photos she made in 1993 of Imperial Courts, a public housing project in Watts, Los Angeles. Lixenberg portrayed residents as distinctive and charismatic personalities, without direct references to their gang. The exhibition Imperial Courts, 1993-2015 at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam (2015) was the first comprehensive presentation of the Imperial Courts series, spanning a period of twenty-two years. As well as her photographs, the exhibition included a three channel video projection, an audio installation, and her book of the same name.
LORENZO VITTURI (1980, ITALY)
ASIA – PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
Skateistan: Empowering Youth Through Skateboarding and Education
Formerly a cinema set painter, he has brought this experience into his photographic practice, which revolves around site-specific interventions at the intersection of photography, sculpture and performance. In Vitturi’s process, photography is conceived as a space of transformation, where different disciplines merge together to represent the complexities of changing urban environments.
BEHIND THE LENS OF OLYMPISM MADE VISIBLE: IN CONVERSATION WITH DANA LIXENBERG AND LORENZO VITTURI
October 2, 2023 – 6 p.m.
Dana Lixenberg and Lorenzo Vitturi in a free-wheeling conversation with acclaimed Indian photographers and filmmakers Sooni Taraporewala and Sunhil Sippy
Venue: Little Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai.
WORKSHOPS WITH RENOWNED INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS LORENZO VITTURI AND DANA LIXENBERG:
October 3, 2023
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Children’s workshop with Lorenzo Vitturi
Venue: Piramal Gallery Terrace, NCPA, Nariman Point, Mumbai.
2 p.m. onwards – Photography workshop with Dana Lixenberg
Venue: Piramal Gallery, NCPA, Nariman Point, Mumbai.
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 the essence of the Olympics transcends mere victories and the spectacle of the Games. It’s about imbibing and spreading the Olympic values that have the potential to shape the lives of our youth profoundly. I was deeply moved to learn that the Film Heritage Foundation is collaborating with the Olympic Museum for ‘Olympics in Reel Life’, a film festival and photo exhibition. This initiative not only offers Indian audiences a glimpse into the rich history of the Games through archival films but also unveils Poulomi Basu’s enchanting photographs from Odisha, capturing the transformative influence of sports on the youth. The power of sport, combined with the spirit of the Olympics, can indeed illuminate countless young dreams.”
MAHESH BHUPATHI – TENNIS PLAYER – 5 – TIME OLYMPIAN
“I have been blessed with an extraordinarily long and successful career during and I am proud to say that I have played in five consecutive Olympic Games. It was my dream to stand on the podium at the Olympics and win a medal not just for myself, but for my country. While Grand Slam events happen yearly , the Olympics are a different ball game as you get to represent the flag . The Olympics taught me that there is a world beyond my own sport and I have seen for myself the tremendous drive and mental strength that athletes from all backgrounds show when striving for Olympic glory against all odds. “Olympics in Reel Life” – a first-of-its-kind film festival of Olympic heritage presented by Film Heritage Foundation and the Olympic Museum should be attended by everyone who loves sport and film as it captures the great sporting history of the world over a century.”
M.M. SOMAYA – FIELD HOCKEY PLAYER – MEMBER OF THE TEAM THAT WON THE GOLD AT THE 1980 MOSCOW OLYMPICS
(Played in 3 Olympic Games in 1980, 1984 and 1988. He was a member of the gold medal winning team in 1980 and captained the Indian team at Seoul 1988).
“The most memorable match of my career was the final of the 1980 Moscow Olympics against Spain. It was my first international tournament and that too, an Olympic final where we won the gold after 16 years. The occasion was overwhelming. But it was after I retired from the game that I realized it was the leadership skills that I learned on the hockey field that has stood me in such good stead in my life. I was so happy to hear about Film Heritage Foundation and the Olympic Museum’s partnership for Olympics in Reel Life that would highlight the art, culture and philosophy of sport and Olympic values that is about the journey to the podium rather than the goal. I am honoured to have been invited by Film Heritage Foundation to launch the poster of the festival with the legendary superstar Mr. Amitabh Bachchan and other great sportspersons and Olympians.”
APARNA POPAT – BADMINTON PLAYER- TWO-TIME OLYMPIAN
(Represented the country at the Sydney Olympic Games 2000 as India’s sole woman’s badminton representative. Participated in her second Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece in 2004.)
“I was so pleased to hear that Film Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Olympic Museum was presenting this unique festival that would showcase Olympics in Reel Life – Olympic heritage films, and also have a photograph exhibition that captures the spirit of Olympism.
When I began my badminton journey as a child, aspiring to attain sporting excellence, I was immensely inspired by powerful images of the Olympics that I saw on the screen. That inspiration helped me achieve my dream of representing India at 2 Olympic Games and winning a record 16 National singles titles in a span of 17 years.
I strongly feel that the Olympics represents so much more than just the Games and medals. Olympism, as a philosophy, speaks about friendship, excellence and respect – values that are relevant and important in our everyday lives.
I am proud to be invited to launch the poster of the festival along with my fellow Olympians.
I strongly believe that sport teaches you less about winning and more about living. Sport gave me the necessary education and the life skills to learn how to accept, adapt, persist and face challenges. These learnings are what makes participating in sport so valuable for the younger generation.”
Indians in Olympics – Across the City of Mumbai
In a tie-up with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and to create an atmosphere of celebration of India’s achievements at the Olympics, a selection of photographs from the Olympic Museum that capture iconic images and poignant moments of great Indian sportspersons at the Olympic Games over the decades will be displayed at 25 prime locations across the city of Mumbai as a constant reminder to the thousands passing by of the range of sportspersons including hockey players, athletes, boxers, archers, shooters, weightlifters, gymnasts, shuttlers and tennis players who represented India at the Olympic Games and made our country proud.
(Click on image to read the full article)