Algorithms directed by Ian McDonald is the first ever feature documentary on Blind Chess. The heart touching documentary is being released theatrically by PVR across six metros, including Kochi on August 21. It is a documentary on the thriving but little known world of Blind Chess in India.
Synopsis: In India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Grandmasters. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. Algorithms is a documentary that transports into the little known world of Blind Chess. It is an inspiring, moving and revelatory story about three blind youngsters with a special talent for chess and a totally blind player turned pioneer who not only aims to place India on a global stage but wants all blind children to play chess. Filmed over three years in different parts of India, Algorithms is an unsentimental but empathetic portrayal of a community. A documentary that touches the heart, stirs the spirit and challenges the intellect. Algorithms is a very Indian story but with universal resonance. The filmmakers travel with the players to competitive tournaments, including the World Junior Blind Chess Championship in Sweden in 2009 and the championship in Greece in 2011. They also film them in their home milieu where they reveal their struggles, anxieties and hopes. Moving through the algorithms of the blind chess world, the film is a tactile and mindful journey that challenges the notion of what it means to “see.” Going beyond sight and story, this observational sport documentary with a difference elicits hidden realms of subjectivity.
The director Ian McDonald is a sociologist and documentary filmmaker developing a centre for Film Practice at Newcastle University. Algorithms is Ian’s debut feature documentary.
Algorithms has bagged seven awards, including Best Editing Award at the Mumbai International Film Festival, India; Best Foreign Documentary Award at LA Femme Film Festival, Los Angeles; Best Story Award at Krasnogorski International Festival of Sport Films, Moscow and Prix du Patrimoine Culturel Immateriel at the Jean Rouch International Film Festival, Paris to name a few.
Along with Kochi, the documentary will be released in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Saksham Trust from Delhi has done the audio description and is mixed by sound designer Harikumar N of Chitranjali, Trivandrum.
The documentary is produced by AkamPuram and is supported by TATA Consultancy Services from India, Newcastle University in the UK and FIDE, the World Chess Federation.