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Documentry on Beyond All Boundaries

Beyond all Boundaries: 
The 2011 World Cup of Cricket

The Movie

! In a small village near Ranchi, Bihar, an Eastern state of India, fifty villagers sit on their haunches watching - on a single small TV - the Indian cricket team playing a match against the Australians. Old men, boys, and women cry out in despair or joy at every ball of the match. They might be illiterate and poor but they are keen followers of the nuances of this complex sport.

! A fifteen year old boy from a large middle-class family in Mumbai trains at Shivaji Park, the birthplace of many of India's great cricketers, to be a firstclass batsman. His parents have poured their life's savings into the boy's dream of playing one day for the Indian team. Meanwhile, they worry about his studies and his future in case he fails to make it to the highest level - after all in a country of over 1 billion avid cricket fans, the national team only fields 11 players at a time.

! An upper-class English speaking Indian with an MBA from Harvard watches
the game from his private box at the New Delhi stadium. His associates and
friends enjoy French wine and caviar while his eyes never leave the game. He
worries about how his hedge fund is doing and whether stocks will suffer if
India makes an early exit from the World Cup.

These are just three of the many stories that we will be following in our documentary set in India in the Spring of 2011 when the WORLD CUP OF CRICKET - a
quadrennial event with 14 competing countries and over a billion fans worldwide -
takes place.

For six weeks, cricket fever will sweep India. We believe that this is a great time to shoot a documentary about the unique status of this colonial sport in modern India and its relationship with a rapidly changing national identity.

The last time India hosted the World Cup of Cricket was 16 years ago but a lot has
changed in the country since then. The past decade and a half have seen India
emerge as a fast-growing global economic presence, an image that is increasingly
touted by its elites.

Also, cricket has changed from being a colonial sport played by English gentlemen to
a sport that now fully belongs to the Indian masses. India is now the commercial
center of cricket worldwide and the national team, much better today than in past
decades, is widely considered a favorite. But the last time India won the World Cup
was in 1983 and Indian fans are hungry for World Cup glory.

The Backdrop

Meanwhile, despite the new national image, the gap between India's reality and its
often-self-flattering rhetoric can come as a great shock to a visitor. Even as the
country’s GDP grows, economic inequality gets worse by the day. The modern Indian
cities, flooded with people who have fled the rural heartland, are home to extremes of wealth and poverty.

Cricket, however, breaks all boundaries with children in urban slums being just as
excited about the sport as their middle and upper-class English-speaking
counterparts. When the game is on, whether it’s a Mumbai commuter train, a streetside tea stall, or a five-star hotel lobby, people are talking about it or watching it.

During the six weeks of the World Cup, cricket will provide us with a unique lens
through which to view a society in the throes of change.

The Plan
We plan to have 3 units shooting in 3 different parts of the country:
• Mumbai, one of the world's largest cities,
• A cricket-crazy small town in Southern India, and
• A village in the impoverished state of Bihar.

Our goal is to showcase the stories of Indian fans, separated by language, class, caste, religion, and gender, who otherwise have little in common except for their love of the Indian cricket team. We plan to follow these fans around as they work, face their
everyday struggles - which in some cases are overwhelming - and obsess over India's
progress in the World Cup.

We will shoot crowds at stadiums during matches, in their homes, at street-side teastalls and barber shops. We will interview Indian cricketers, experts on the sport, and university academicians to get an understanding of how cricket has impacted everything in India from national identity, aspiration, and performance in other events such as the Olympics. But the main focus will be the personal stories of fans.

The Funding

We are pursuing funding from individual investors to smaller donors to documentary
grant foundations. We have successfully raised enough to almost get us through
production. However, we still need more funds to complete production in a manner
consummate with our vision and to pay for post-production costs, which can be
significant for a documentary. Consequently, we’re still looking for investors who
believe in the commercial potential of this project.

We will be a lean production crew incurring only the essential production costs such
as camera rentals, HD video memory card rentals, flights to India, travel and lodging in India, and salaries for local crew.

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This film will be much more than a sports documentary. It will be a glimpse into a
country going through a dramatic socio-economic flux. The visuals of the film would
be rich with the drama of modern life in India’s cities and small towns.
We’re confident that the stories of the individuals will be very compelling, as they will reveal a striking diversity of a vibrant people. But like a good sports film, it would present high-quality footage of the sporting action itself, which, as anyone who watches cricket knows, is particularly picturesque.

The documentary would pursue a few questions:

" What is cricket? The rules, the players, the stakes.

" How did this 18th century English gentleman’s game come to capture the
hearts of the Indian people?

" How is cricket able to bring together a people that are otherwise pulled apart
by their vast differences in language, religion, caste and class?

" Why is India’s cricket team a contender in that sport, while in the Olympics,
the second most populated country in the world wins fewer than five medals?

" In what way does cricket fulfill the hopes and aspirations of a billion people,
most of whom live on less than $5 a day?

" Finally, but perhaps most interestingly, what are the personal stories of the
fans of this game – from a boy living in a slum to the upper-class kid headed to
Harvard, to the small town mother of eight who can’t read?

Audience and Distribution
Cricket is second only to soccer worldwide in the number of fans of the sport. The
Indian cricket team, with its half billion fans, is arguably the most popular sports
team of any kind in the world.

While films have been made chronicling the history of the game, there has been no
film that has captured a World Cup as it happens. There has definitely never been a
film that told the stories of the fans themselves as they follow the progress of their team and go about their lives.

We are confident that the never-before seen glimpse into the lives of Indian fans will make this film a success in the film festival circuit. Having already made an Indian film (see below) that played at over 40 major film festivals worldwide and garnered several awards, director Sushrut Jain has festival experience. He has a sense of what world audiences, not necessarily immersed in cricket, would get excited about.

Writer/Director Sushrut Jain

I was born and raised in Mumbai, India and grew up playing cricket. My mother, an
avid cricket fan to this day, handed me a plastic toy bat soon after I had learned to walk.

I came to the United States to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and
Economics at Ohio Wesleyan University. I went on to pursue graduate studies,
getting a Master’s degree in Economics from Stanford University. I worked for a few
years as an economist in San Francisco.
However, I found myself drawn to storytelling and eventually quit my job to pursue
an MFA in Film Production at the University of Southern California’s School of
Cinematic Arts.

In 2008, I wrote and directed a short film titled “Andheri” (Darkness) – a realist
drama set on the streets of Mumbai. The film went on to play at over 40 major film
festivals around the world including the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand (France),
Edinburgh (Scotland), Palm Springs Shortsfest, Nashville, San Francisco Asian
American, Expression en Corto (Mexico), the Kerala Film Festival (India) and others.
The film also won several awards at these festivals.

I want to return to India to make a thrilling film structured around the World Cup of Cricket but extending beyond that to social commentary and personal narratives. I
believe my filmmaking experience in Indian conditions, my love for cricket, and my
understanding of Indian and Western cultures, position me uniquely to make an
interesting film.

Producer Rob Miller and ReelSports, Inc.

Rob Miller is the President of a company called ReelSports, an international sports
entertainment consultancy that partners with filmmakers, event organizers, and elite
performers. The company has a history of working on major Hollywood and Indian
film productions, executing the production of the sports action in those films.
The films Rob Miller has worked on include Miracle, starring Kurt Russell, Chak De
India!, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Patiala House, a Bollywood drama about
cricket, starring Akshay Kumar.

Address :-

Tenth Road Productions
3650 Los Feliz Blvd., Apt. 49
Los Angeles, CA 90027
USA Phone: (415) 342-1057
India Phone: 22-2869-6089

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