Soccer in cinema, IIFI, Goa
The International Film Festival of India (Iffi) this year will have a special section of films based on football, which is probably not surprising considering the venue for the annual Iffi—Goa.
Taking into account the local passion for the sport, the organizers of Iffi, which starts 23 November, will bring together seven films made over the last five years from different parts of the world. They were chosen to take a look at how different ethnicities and sensibilities handle the sport and how effectively they have integrated the spirit of the sport into the medium. Iffi director Shankar Mohan hopes this integration of football films into the festival will provide an emotional connect for the audiences in Goa.
The Soccer in Cinema package, a mix of feature films and documentaries, so far includes A Barefoot Dream (South Korea), directed by Kim Tae-gyun, Mario Filho, Creators of Crowd (Brazil), directed by Oscar Maron Filho, Foot of God (Italy), directed by Louis Sardiello, Argentina Futbol Club (Argentina), directed by Juan Pablo Rubio, The Best Women in the World (Germany), directed by Britta Becker, More Than Just a Game (South Africa), directed by Junaid Ahmed, and Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (France), directed by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parrenodsax.
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The documentary on 1998 World Cup winner Zidane was shot during a 2005 game between Real Madrid and Villarreal, in which the temperamental Zidane was sent off in the dying minutes of the game, just like in the 2006 World Cup final between Italy and France. The documentary is shot from the perspective of the French former midfielder and covers almost the full Madrid-Villarreal match.
Similarly, the 2010 documentary Argentina Futbol Club showcases the legendary rivalry between Boca Juniors and River Plate, often considered by non-Europeans as the greatest rivalry in the sport.
“We wanted to showcase what football means to the world and avoided films which merely glorified it and did not do much justice to the game,” says Mohan.
These documentaries will try to coexist seamlessly with feature films like More Than Just a Game (2007), a drama about political prisoners playing football at the Robben Island prison in South Africa where Nelson Mandela was held, and A Barefoot Dream (released this June), about a retired pro player who aims to exploit a business opportunity in East Timor but ends up coaching a ragged team of 10-year-olds.
The International Film Festival of India will be held in Goa from 23 November-3 December.