Best Picture CHARIOTS OF FIRE Returns To Big Screen For London 2012 Festival
This comes from what could be the voice of one (okay, maybe a few) - CHARIOTS OF FIRE deserved the statue when it won Best Picture in 1981. It’s upset at the 54th Academy Awards is still one of the most debated in the history of the Oscars. To all our lucky readers in the UK who haven’t had enough of the upcoming summer games yet and need a film to get them ready, here’s an opportunity that can’t be missed. For the first time since its theatrical release you will have the chance to enjoy Hugh Hudson and Lord Puttnam’s internationally acclaimed, multi Oscar®-winning Olympic drama Chariots of Fire on the big screen as part of the London 2012 Festival celebrations.
Twentieth Century Fox is working closely with the filmmakers and the BFI to bring Chariots of Fire back to 100 cinema screens up and down the country. With a stunning new digitally re-mastered print, the iconic British film promises to dazzle on the big screen once again. The timeless story of athletic achievement and battling against the odds will prove particularly resonant as sporting fever sweeps Britain in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Producer Lord Puttnam of Queensgate CBE said: “Chariots of Fire is about guts, determination and belief. Just as the film succeeded in raising spirits and aspirations thirty years ago, I believe it could deliver exactly the same message today. At the heart of the film is the quest for Olympic glory, and I find hard to imagine anything more likely to resonate throughout the country this summer.”
Director Hugh Hudson said: “Discretion, loyalty and self-sacrifice, questions of faith and refusal to compromise, standing for one’s beliefs, achieving something for the sake of it, with passion, and not just for fame or financial gain, are even more vital and relevant today. Chariots is about these issues.”
BFI CEO Amanda Nevill said: “We’re delighted that BFI funding will help bring Chariots of Fire to UK audiences this summer, widening the film’s reach outside London and supporting a series of exciting events that will bring together and celebrate British achievements in film and sport. In such a culturally significant year and as Britain prepares to host the world’s biggest sporting event, this film offers a real opportunity for audiences UK-wide to embrace the Olympic spirit.”
Cameron Saunders, Managing Director, UK Theatrical at Twentieth Century Fox UK, said: ”Thanks to the BFI’s support audiences throughout the UK will be able to make Chariots of Fire their first Olympic experience of the summer. I challenge anyone not to be extraordinarily excited about London 2012 having enjoyed this most iconic Olympic film on the big screen.”
Chariots of Fire tells the story of two very different men who compete as runners in the 1924 Paris Olympics: Eric Liddell is a devout Christian who believes that his athletic abilities are a gift from God, and that using that gift to its fullest extent – to win the gold medal – will be his way of glorifying God. Harold Abrahams is an English Jew, a student at Cambridge, who dreams of fame and of proving to his anti-Semitic fellow students, and to the world, that Jews are not inferior. Their motives are noble. Their commitment is total. Their integrity is unquestionable. They will both make personal sacrifices to achieve their goals. In the process, through all the obstacles and personal issues they conquer, they prove that striving for victory with such commitment and lofty goals is, perhaps, its own reward. Based on a true story, CHARIOTS OF FIRE was the winner of four Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, in addition to receiving nominations for three more.