Canadian Sport Film Festival Announces 2012 Programme

  • 4th Annual CSFF to screen 12 films from around the world, with feature screenings taking place June 7-8 at TIFF Bell Lightbox
  • Opening and closing night are highlighted by the heartwarming Africa United and the award-winning documentary Men Who Swim
  • Free pre-festival screening of UK/India’s Marathon Boy to take place May 29; children’s workshop June 9
  • For more information on the CSFF or to purchase tickets, visit

TORONTO, May 18, 2012 – The fourth annual Canadian Sport Film Festival (CSFF) today announced a 2012 programme that will feature 12 films from around the world.. Headlining the CSFF, taking place June 7-8 in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, are the opening night film, Africa United, a heartwarming tale of three kids’ desire to attend the World Cup; while the closing night film, Men Who Swim, is an award-winning documentary about men’s synchronized swimming.

The CSFF brings together the theatre of sport and the medium of film to tell unique, provocative and passionate human stories from around the world.  The Festival connects filmgoers to the story beyond the scoreboard, behind the camera and told with a critical lens.

“This year’s programme features a strong line-up of outstanding international films from four different continents,” said Russell Field, Executive Director, CSFF.  “With six premieres on the programme, we’re delighted to be holding this year’s Festival at the world-class TIFF Bell Lightbox.”

Canadian Sport Film Festival 2012 Programme

Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 7pm, Innis Town Hall — Free pre-festival screening

Marathon Boy (2010)

UK/India/USA; Director: Gemma Atwal

Rescued from poverty by Biranchi Das, a larger-than-life coach and operator of an orphanage in eastern Indian, four-year-old Budhia displays an uncommon talent for long-distance running. At once a folk hero and a symbol of exploitation, Budhia’s life becomes swept up in a maelstrom of media controversy and political scandal.

The Ball (2009)

France; Director: Fabien Corée

By day, six-year-old Yoji assembles soccer balls in an illegal factory. By night, he dreams the dreams of childhood.

Thursday, 7 June 2012, 7pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 4 – Opening Night

Africa United (2010)

UK/South Africa/Rwanda; Director: Debs Gardner-Paterson

This heartwarming film tells the story of Dudu, Beatrice, and Fabrice, three Rwandan children determined to get to Johannesburg in time for the opening of the 2010 World Cup. Their harrowing, poignant, and comical 3000-mile journey takes them across seven countries through an Africa few ever see.

Skateistan: To Live and Skate Kabul (2010)

UK; Director: Orlando von Einsiedel

In a country only ever in the news for all the wrong reasons, a group of Afghani youth find momentary release from the harsh realities of life in Kabul thanks to a skateboarding program.

Thursday, 7 June 2012, 9:30 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 4

A Mother’s Comeback (2011)- International Premiere

Sweden; Director: Åsa Ekman

Sweden’s first female drag racing champion in the 1970s, Rosie was forced out of competition by the demands of motherhood and she spent 30 years taking care of others. But at age 57, Rosie is getting behind the wheel again and attempting a comeback in the sport she loves.

The Oarsmen (2009)- Canadian Premiere

Netherlands; Director: Leendert Pot

A poetic film about a team of master’s-age rowers, featuring the oldest oarsman in Holland.

Friday, 8 June 2012, 7 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 4

Seeing Ali (2010)- Ontario Premiere

Canada; Director: Martin Guerin

Local civic boosters in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, host a benefit dinner in 1983 to raise funds for the upcoming ‘Championnats sportifs du Québec’ and decide that the best way to promote their city is to try to secure former world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali as the guest of honour.

Baseball in the Time of Cholera (2012)- Canadian Premiere

Haiti; Directors: David Darg & Bryn Mooser

Haiti’s cholera epidemic and the struggle for survival and justice are seen through the eyes of a young baseball player. Joseph is a member of the Tabbare Tigers, Haiti’s first little league baseball team. But as cholera strikes close to home he meets a Haitian lawyer fighting for compensation for the victims.

The Game Must Go On (2010)- Canadian Premiere

Greece; Directors: Angeliki Andrikopoulou & Argyris Tsepelikas

In a cramped street in a crowded Greek city, kids gather to play after school. The adults however protest the noise and flying soccer balls so close to their homes. So the kids take matters into their own hands, trying to convince civic leaders to build them a sport field.

Friday, 8 June 2012, 9:30 pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 4 – Closing Night

Men Who Swim (2010)

Sweden; Director: Dylan Williams

A humorous and poignant look at a group of middle-aged underachievers who have found unlikely success as members of Sweden’s all male synchronized swimming team. But what began as a weekly escape from the daily grind of work and family responsibilities turns serious after an unexpected invitation to the world championships.

Bicycle (2010)- Canadian Premiere

Turkey; Director: Serhat Karaaslan

Firat and his father collect garbage to survive. One day, the young boy discovers a partly intact bicycle in the trash and begins dreaming of a life of play.

Saturday, 9 June 2012, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, NFB Mediatheque – Children’s workshop

The Swimming Lesson (2008)

Belgium/Netherlands; Director: Danny de Vent

A young boy embarks upon his first swimming lesson. To conquer his fears he takes a trip to the deepest end of the pool.

Screened as part of a sport and filmmaking workshop for children; pre-registration required.

For more information on the Canadian Sport Film Festival and to purchase tickets, please visit:

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Nini Krishnappa

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