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NZFF 2011 gets sporty

The New Zealand International Film Festival today announced four sports documentaries to play in the 2011 programme. Cricket, Formula One, chess and senior sports will be represented in the line-up which is scheduled to play around New Zealand from July.
The West Indies’ 15 year domination of cricket worldwide is captured in Fire in Babylon (trailer). The documentary features archival footage from key cricket matches along with a soundtrack of Bob Marley and Burning Spear.
“The West Indies team played during a very turbulent era; there were race riots in Britain, Apartheid in South Africa and civil unrest in the Caribbean. Fire in Babylon makes a very strong case for how the team became a major inspiration for black equality. It is a must-see not just for cricket fans.” says Assistant Programmer Michael McDonnell.
Senna (trailer) follows the career of Formula One driver Ayrton Senna with never-before-seen racing footage and candid interviews with family and colleagues.
“Senna was a Brazilian legend and this documentary presents the most comprehensive portrait of the racing icon to date. You don’t have to be a petrol-head to see what this guy had going on. The film contains amazing footage of his behind-the-scenes battles with the Formula One elite.” says Festival Director Bill Gosden.
Autumn Gold (trailer) follows five athletes aged 82-plus as they battle age, arthritis and their competitors at the World Masters Championship.
Bobby Fischer Against The World (trailer) tells the story of Chess World Champion Bobby Fischer’s rise and fall, anchoring the story around Fischer’s game against Boris Spassky in Iceland in 1972.
“Considering the vast audience for Broadcast live sports, it’s surprising how few top-rate documentaries we see about sport. It’s a rare pleasure to find four of them in a single year.” says Gosden.
The Festival today also confirmed Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver as the first of the retrospective titles in the programme. The Festival will present the restored 35mm version of 1976 film.
The NZ International Film Festival programme will be available in Auckland from June 22 and in Wellington from July 1.

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