Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival (6-15 December) has scored a coup with the world premiere of cricket movie ’83 as its closing film, and the promised attendance of Bollywood star Deepika Padukone, subject Kapil Dev, and director Kabir Khan.
‘83 tells the true story of the charismatic Dev, played by Ranveer Singh, who led the Indian cricket team to its first World Cup victory in 1983 at the hallowed Lord’s Cricket Ground in London against the West Indies, regarded at the time as invincible.
According to the producers of the Hindi language film, the actors trained for months with the real cricketers they were playing to understand the nuances of the sport.
The movie is presented by Reliance Entertainment, Phantom Films and Kabir Khan Films, and will screen ahead of its release across the Gulf region on December 23 and worldwide release on 24 December.
The world premiere will be attended by cast and crew, including the film’s director Khan (Ek Tha Tiger), Padukone (Chennai Express), and cricket legend Dev, along with Mohinder ‘Jimmy’ Amarnath (Vice-captain and man of the match in the finals) and Srikkanth (the team’s opening batsman).
Kabir Khan said: “I’m beyond excited to unveil ’83 at the Red Sea International Film Festival, the opening of cinemas in Saudi Arabia is a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers in India and across the world. To go on this journey, and to bring the story to screen with legends, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and cricket icon Kapil Dev was like winning the world cup for me.”
Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of the inaugural RedSeaIFF added: “‘83 is such a monumental film that will capture the public imagination, in Jeddah and across the world. A true celebration of one of the greatest underdog stories in international sporting history, it continues to inspire generations of young people, and the incredible Hindi-language film is sure to do the same. We are thrilled to host the cast and crew, as well sporting icon Kapil Dev at the Red Sea International Film Festival for one of the most anticipated films of the year.”
Cinema Paradiso director Giuseppe Tornatore will lead the feature competition jury at the event.