Cut-n-Run : Street of Dreams
It’s cricket, but not as we know it.
A docu-drama Film.
A tlc timlangford creative ltd/Marwah Studios, Delhi Production
Cut-n-Run : Street of Dreams
It’s cricket, but not as we know it.
In a country of startling contrasts between wealth and poverty, cricket incites a
passion and fever amongst all strata of Indian society. In stark contrast to the Indian
Premier League, ‘Gully Cricket’ (Street Cricket) is a game played by thousands of
young Indians in the streets, back alley's and rough ground of sprawling metropolitan
cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.
“More than patriotism, this is about your area's pride.
It's like the concept of ‘the hood’ in America.”
Street Cricket is a seemingly spontaneous rough and tumble game played out within
this landscape of urban chaos. A form of cricket with it's own rules, language and
techniques adapted to the unruly, impoverished conditions of the Indian street.
“Every street corner has its own set of rules about scoring – Jhaadi ke paar – 2 runs: Road ke
paar – 4 runs: Roof Top – out…The last rule was to make sure that
my cousin Sattar would not break any more windows…”
The wider canvas for the film is the emergence of the IPL – where industrialists and
Bollywood movie stars spent millions assembling teams of leading cricketers –
arguably, a symbolic assertion of India’s 21st century economic confidence.
Cut-n-Run (or Tip-n-Run)
Definition: Etymology English, sometimes distorted into Tiffin run: Here the batsman
has to run if the ball hits the bat.
Cut–n-Run: THE TITLE AS METAPHOR FOR LIFE
I am interested in the idea of cutting and running through the game of street cricket,
as a metaphor, analogy, way of life, of how the game – for a kid and maybe an adult
– is an escape, a place in the mind, maybe escaping your background, your family,
escape into a fantasy, dream world, maybe the idea of aspiration.
Documentary Outline Proposal
‘Cut-n-Run’ is a documentary journey through the urban, Indian cricketing labyrinth
– from the gully cricket playing ghettos of Mumbai, to the city’s venue for the IPL
games, the famous Wankhede Stadium: from Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla cricket ground
to the surrounding, teeming streets of youths striking a sticky tape tennis ball with an
improvised shovelled piece of wood: from the makeshift broom stick wickets of
raucous neighbourhood games, to the grandeur of Chennai’s M. A. Chidambaram
– the film will criss-cross the country to present a compelling series of portraits of
these urban games, the competing neighbourhood teams and the players who dream
of graduating from the wicket of the street to facing, the Premier Leagues, Shane
Warne at the wicket in the Wankhede Stadium.
“It was a motley crew. Sharad at fourteen was the punching bag, a butt for many a joke…my
cousin Sattar at fifteen was the rowdy one, with a penchant for picking up fights at the drop of
a hat. Christie at sixteen was quite the philosopher while Ronnie was a flamboyant
seventeen…Manimaran was the wild one…”
The story that will emerge will provide a visual kaleidoscope of modern day India,
from the glamour and clamour surrounding the Premier League: to the ghettos - in
sight of the stadium venues - and their cricketing streets as theatre of dreams.
There are three dimensions to the film –
It’s about the life force that is street cricket in India. I want to show how the game is
played, where it’s played, who play’s it, why they play it and I want to explain how it’s
played. I want to show how it is part of the fabric of street life and part and parcel of
growing up in India. I think this part of the story should be euphoric, full of anarchy,
full of joy. I think this form of cricket is a great leveler, I think it is egalitarian (anyone
can play however poor or rich).
“The ball hit the meat of the bat and rocketed towards the bullock-cart. To our horror, we
heard a loud thwack; the ball hit the bull squarely in the stomach, akin
to a sucker punch.”
Socialization. My theory is that street cricket is expressive of a community, a
neighborhood and about personal expression. I think it is about identity. It is about
bonding with your mates, friends, it is about different kinds of rules and a form of
socializing through sport. It may be about rebellious youth. It may be about freedom
of expression. But what is it’s role in socialization? How and what do we learn through
playing the game?
Personal stories/portraits of those who play.
This part of the film is about personal narratives, about the lives of some of those who
play. So the film delves deeper into the character of the people who play it. Some of
the boys are poor, some wealthier. Maybe some of the boys live on the street.
They’ve run away, or they’ve been dumped on the street…they are survivors but their
lives are extraordinarily difficult. Street cricket is probably peripheral to their lives.
They may be victims of abuse, they may be substance abusers. How do they survive?
Is the idea of ‘Cut-n-Run’ a metaphor for their lives?
Visual Treatment: Note
The intention is to give aspects of the film an off-the-wall quality: using first person
narrative, graphical animation and music. It is hoped that the film will feature song,
lip-synced by some of the subjects to express the sub-text of the character and their
Phase 1: Research/shoot: 25th January – 14 th February 2009.
Production: tlc timlangford creative ltd (London)/Marwah Studio’s
Director/Producer: Tim Langford
Tel. 0044 7973 909741
India: Marwah Studios, Noida Film City, Delhi:
Akshay Marwah: Tel. 0091 98 113 44229
Language: Hindi/English subtitling
Distribution/Exhibition: - Feature documentary: TV/Theatrical.
- 4 x 5 min short films (web distribution)
Tim Langford is an, award-winning director-producer (2008: Clarion Award – Best
Video, ‘Torn’/IVCA Silver and Bronze ‘Torn’ in Best Documentary and Charity/Welfare)
and writer with broadcast credits ranging from the BBC, MTV and Channel 4 to
overseas broadcasters: RTE, MBC, Chello. He has worked freelance and through his
own company (tlc ltd) for many years: working across drama, documentary,
corporate communications, advertising, marketing and promotions.
Recent films include the groundbreaking film on UK asylum seekers ‘Torn’ and the
picaresque documentary ‘Hamlet in Kuwait’, exploring the psychological state of
Kuwait after the Gulf War through the experiences of a theatre company on tour.
His career has taken many diverse twists and turns from running an audio-visual
production agency for a local authority and managing an independent production
company; to making fashion videos; interviewing Al Pacino for Channel 4; producing a
large portfolio of commissioned films for NGO’s and public/private sector clients;
creating the world’s first in-flight shopping channel for BA; and making short and