● Presented by the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) and the Olympic Museum, ‘Olympics in Reel Life’ - A Festival of Films and Photographs is a week-long festival that is bringing to life the Olympic legacy through visual art forms
● The festival joined hands with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to display iconic photo installations of Indian Olympians in 15 prominent locations across Mumbai
● Mumbaikars had the chance to click selfies with their Indian Olympian at the nearest photo installation
● FHF has organised for 500+ children from BMC schools to attend film screenings and do a walkthrough of the Olympism Made Visible photography exhibition at the NCPA
Mumbai, The much-awaited ‘Olympics in Reel Life’ - A Festival of Films and Photographs was grandly unveiled in Mumbai this weekend. This pioneering festival is a unique artistic endeavour that is presented by the Film Heritage Foundation (FHF) in partnership with the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. It masterfully brings to life the dynamism of sports and the soul of the Olympics through visual stories in the form of rare archival films and photography for a week from 1st to 7th October at the NCPA in Mumbai.
In a significant collaboration, the festival has joined hands with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to display iconic photo installations of diverse Indian Olympian legends across 15 prime locations in Mumbai, creating an atmosphere of celebration and giving its people a chance to click selfies with their favourite Olympic athletes. Some of these locations include Colaba Woods Garden (South Zone), Ramesh More Udyan (Andheri East), Muktanand Park (Santacruz), Bhakti Park and Krishna Rao Rane Maidan (JVPD) to name a few.
From October 1st to 7th, Film Heritage Foundation will present thoughtfully assembled array of photographs from the Olympic Museum in prominent spots across the city allotted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). This exhibition vividly captures India’s diverse and accomplished sports persons and their timeless moments at the Games, showcasing a spectrum of talents including hockey players, athletes, boxers, archers, shooters, weightlifters, gymnasts, shuttlers, and tennis players. This display stands as a tribute to India's sports prowess, celebrating the enduring spirit and legacy of icons like Milkha Singh, Abhinav Bindra, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and many more.
This innovative endeavour aims to transcend traditional boundaries, transforming the cityscape into a grand gallery. It invites the city's residents to collectively honour and reflect upon the accomplishments of Indian athletes, fostering community pride and creating enduring memories across Mumbai.
Apart from the photo installation, ‘Olympics in Reel Life’ has two more strands, including a movie marathon featuring 33 Olympic-themed films and 10 series spanning a century since 1912, sourced from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Channel archives. It also consists of Olympism Made Visible - an international photography project commissioned by the Olympic Museum at the NCPA’s Open Air Plaza.
Amplifying this celebration of sports and arts, the BMC and FHF have also arranged film screenings for BMC school children at the NCPA's Little Theatre on the 2nd and 3rd of October 2023. Over these two days, a battalion of 500+ students will traverse through time, absorbing the essence of historic Olympic films directed by acclaimed international directors such as Carlos Saura, Kon Ichikawa, Milos Forman and more that have chronicled human sporting endeavours through the years. Not only that, they will also be given a chance to explore the exceptional works of three renowned photographers Dana Lixenberg, Lorenzo Vitturi, and Poulomi Basu in a walkthrough of the photo exhibition.
This immersive experience, meticulously curated for young ones, accentuates the transformative essence of the Olympics, emphasizing the timeless influence of sports in fostering peace, unity, and universal camaraderie. The involvement further solidifies BMC's steadfast dedication in light of Mumbai being a UNESCO Creative City of Film to elevating art, culture, and the spirit of sports through film within the Mumbai community at the 'Olympics in Reel Life' festival.
Mr Rajesh Kankal, BMC Education Officer stated, “We believe that the true essence of a thriving society lies at the intersection of art, culture, and sports. Through our dedicated efforts in showcasing films and a compelling photography exhibition around the themes of sports and the Olympics to the students, we not only celebrated India’s rich sporting heritage but also sought to kindle the flames of inspiration in our young generation. Through our collaboration with ‘Olympics in Reel Life,’ we wanted to nurture young minds that will one day bloom into the greatness of our nation.”
Smt Ashwini Bhide, Additional Municipal Commissioner, BMC, said, “As Mumbai is a UNESCO Creative City of Film, the BMC was very pleased to partner with Film Heritage Foundation, the Olympic Museum and the NCPA to widen the reach of Olympics in Reel Life by showcasing historic photographs of our Indian athletes at the Olympics across the city and for the children from our BMC schools to watch these rare films. Our dedicated efforts in cultivating a deeper connection between the youth and the Olympic spirit reflect our overarching commitment to bring India’s cultural and sporting heritage close to its people. Together with FHF, the Olympic Museum and the NCPA, BMC takes pride in championing this historic convergence of art, culture, and sports, fostering a legacy that will inspire generations to come.”
BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal, mentioned, “The festival is a unique point of intersection where sports and arts meet, celebrating the unity, determination and harmony that sports nurture in society. It was an excellent opportunity for our youth to discover the profound impact of sports and the Olympic values in our communities through a medium that truly captivates their attention while also encouraging them to dream big. We are pleased to lend our support and promote such a remarkable event and play a role in nurturing a vibrant artistic and sporting ecosystem in Mumbai.”
Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, Filmmaker, Archivist and Founder-Director of the Film Heritage Foundation, said, “I am delighted that we were able to organize screenings of Olympic-themed films for the BMC school children in collaboration with the BMC and NCPA The power of the image, both moving and still, to inspire and educate is unquestionable. The films that we are screening at the Olympics in Reel Life festival will introduce children to the art of film made by some of the greatest filmmakers in the world as well as the Olympic heritage, culture, spirit and values. We are delighted that we could showcase India’s Olympic journey by celebrating its national heroes and their achievements with photographs in key locations across the city.
V.G. Jairam, Founder, Hyperlink Brand Solutions, added, “We have consistently played a central role in initiatives that unite communities and deliver compelling narratives to audiences. We are proud to have supported the ‘Olympics in Reel Life’ festival alongside the FHF, the Olympic Museum and the NCPA. The event exemplified our dedication to crafting unique and impactful experiences. Moreover, the unwavering support of the BMC added an extraordinary dimension to this celebration of art and sports, demonstrating our collective commitment to nurturing art and promoting a cultural legacy that resonates with and empowers the youth.”
The international festival served as a prelude to India’s new Olympic chapter, wherein it will host the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session for the first time in 40 years after 1983 in Mumbai this October.
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