Biennale ‘Artist Cinema’ series returns with football package

>>Titled ‘Freedom Field’, the January 14-18 series features a collection of films produced in the last three years, offering different views and experiences around the world’s most popular game

Just CharlieThe ‘artist cinema’ segment at the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale is returning after the year-end break with a five-day festival of football movies curated by Delhi-based critic-scholar Faizal Khan.

 Titled ‘Freedom Field’, the January 14-18 series features a collection of films produced in the last three years, offering different views and experiences around the world’s most popular game. “Be them documentaries or feature films, all the five are conversations about how lives are shaped by the place that is themed around the game,’’ says Faizal, a writer on art and culture for major publications in India and abroad.

 The Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF), which is organising the ‘artist cinema’ at the Pavilion in Cabral Yard as part of the 108-day festival that began on December 12, notes that football is a game that resonates with the spirit of Kerala’s sportsmanship as well.

 KBF president Bose Krishnamachari notes that apart from Goa and West Bengal Kerala is the other state in India where the port has a strong following.

 According to Faizal, originally from near Changanassery in south-central Kerala’s Kottayam district, each of the films at the festival demonstrates the unifying power of football. “They demonstrate a distinct theme revolving around the game. Like, the documentary Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football (Jan 14) that showcases how a professional footballer convinces everybody about his abilities without playing a game, while Sudani from Nigeria (Jan 16) is a 2018 Malayalam feature film that talks about migration,” states Faizal, who had curated a cinema package at the 2014 edition of the biennale.

 The other films (at 6.30 pm every day) Forever Pure by Maya Zinshtein (Jan 15),  Just Charlie by Rebekah Fortune (Jan 17) and 17 by Widad Shafakoj (Jan 18). “I have selected a range of films that are diverse yet as connected as it could,” adds Faizal, initially a bank employee.

 The curator points out that  Sudani from Nigeria has one of the lead actors, Soubin Shahir from Fort Kochi, where the biennale is on. “He is planning to visit the biennale on the day of the movie screening,” he adds.

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