Four moves in, we are all blind

4/12/2013 – Algorithms is a unique documentary about three blind boys from India who dream of becoming chess masters, supported by their blind coach and mentor. Filmed over three years, it follows the boys and a totally blind player turned pioneer to competitive national and world championships. The Kickstarter project still needs some very modest funding. Full information and videos.

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ALGORITHMS

India | 2012 | HDV | B&W | 100 mins
English, Hindi, Tamil, Odiya with English subtitles

In India, a group of boys dream of becoming chess masters, driven by a man with a vision. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. Algorithms is a documentary on the thriving but little known world of Blind Chess in India. Filmed over three years, Algorithms travels with three talented boys and a totally blind player turned pioneer to competitive national and world championships and visits them in their home milieu where they reveal their struggles, anxieties and hopes.

Blind chess players in India

Going beyond sight and story, this observational sport doc with a difference moves through the algorithms of the blind chess world challenging the sighted of what it means to see. It allows for the tactile and thoughtful journey that explores foresight, sight and vision to continue long after the moving image ends. Writer-director-producer Dr J. Geetha, who founded AkamPuram, talks about the project with director Ian McDonald:

SYNOPSIS

In India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Masters, driven by a man with a vision. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. Algorithms is a documentary on the thriving but little known world of Blind Chess in India.

Filmed over three years from just before the World Junior Blind Chess Championship in Sweden in 2009 to just after the next championship in Greece in 2011, it follows three talented boys from different parts of India and a totally blind player turned pioneer who not only aims to situate India on a global stage but also wants all blind children to play chess.

Algorithms travels with the chess players to competitive tournaments and visits them in their home milieu where they reveal their struggles, anxieties and hopes. It moves through the algorithms of the blind chess world challenging the sighted of what it means to see. Going beyond sight and story, this observational sport doc with a difference elicits hidden realms of subjectivity. It allows for the tactile and thoughtful journey that explores foresight, sight and vision to continue long after the moving image ends.

Algorithms is the first ever feature documentary on Blind Chess.

Filmaker Ian McDonald

Ian McDonald is a sport sociologist and documentary filmmaker. Having always used the camera to support his research on sport and physical culture in UK and India, Ian’s move to documentary filmmaking, benefits from a seemingly effortless ‘way of seeing’ that has resulted in documentaries with a difference on art and sport, especially of the ‘sporting outsider’- the one who is seen as ‘different’ by a ‘normal’ society. His documentaries have been screened at film festivals, conferences and campaign meetings around the world. Ian is based at the University of Brighton, UK.

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