International festival celebrating sport in TV, film comes to India next year

MUMBAI: This is an opportunity for content creators of sport on television and in film to take centrestage. Sport Movies & TV, the international festival dedicated to television and films that showcase sports, is coming to India.

The flagship event is held in Milan every year and seven countries including China and Uzbekistan have their own versions. India is the latest country to join them and entertainment firm Ten Films has tied up with the Federation internationale du Cinema Et De la television Spotrifs (Ficts) to bring the event to India. Sport Movies & TV is held under the aegis of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The flagship event has a list of 90 member countries that send in entries.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the India chapter, Ten Films director Ritesh Sinha said, "The Indian chapter of the event will be held in Mumbai from 2-5 March 2006. It will be an annual event. At the event, besides local talent, there will also be talent from abroad on display. There will be a conference, an exhibition and an awards ceremony. This will have six categories including TV shows, feature films, documentaries and ad films.

"I think that the quality of work that I am seeing on sports channels has gone up considerably in the past five years. To give an example I was impressed by the work done around the recently held Confederations Cup as far as the promos were concerned as well as the wrap around stuff. Our aim is to help the culture of sport grow in India," Sinha said.

"While we have entered this market late I would say that this is the right time. Interest is now growing in sports other than cricket like F1 and tennis. While there are only a few Bollywood films that showcase sport, our hope is that when Indian filmmakers see the work from abroad they will aspire to new heights."

Sinha says that the next few months will be spent contacting Indian production houses that make specials around sports as well as sports channels. More details about the event will be made available as time goes on. In fact at the flagship event in Milan, which takes place later this year from 27 October to 1 November 2005, the subject of India being included will be brought up at the opening day's conference.

Ficts president Professor Franco Bruno Ascani said, "Ficts through Sport Movies & TV aims to spread the knowledge and diffusion of sport movies and videos that, in different languages and different production forms, contribute to the development of the artistic and cultural tendencies in the TV world and movies. The aims of this event are to promote the quality of sports on cinema and on TV. We also aim to underline the spirit of Olympism. Therefore one category at the Indian version will be dedicated to the Olympic spirit.

"This will reward a product that chronicles or surveys the Olympic Games, the disciplines, the champions, the participants. The product should also bring out the cultural, historical and ethic values of the event. We also seek to bring together those who work creatively in sports broadcasting in order to stimulate and spread knowledge of creative and cultural issues related to sport in the media."

At last years flagship event in Milan:

197 Medals, made by producer Jan Celner of the Czech Republic received an honorary mention in the Olympic Spirit category. Another special that was cited was Five Elements of Rhythmic Gymnastics by Russia's Sport Agency Arena.

In the documentary section Alexander Popov. Destiny by Russia's Vib Film was cited. There is also a section called Sport and Society. This category rewards a product that has an educational value. Iran's Football Bartar was one of the specials that received a special honourary award.

The Olympic Museum Award went to Europsort's Mission To Athens.

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