Caroline Rowland to make official feature film of London 2012 Olympics
EXCLUSIVE: 12 first-time Olympic athletes will be chronicled in the feature film.
Details have finally emerged about the official feature film of the London 2012 Olympics. First is being written, produced and directed by Caroline Rowland of London-based production outfit New Moon.
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the London 2012 Orgainising Committee (LOGOC) have given their blessing for the project.
Rowland is rushing to finish the film in time to screen it at the BFI London Film Festival in the autumn.
The film is intended as a continuation of the Bud Greenspan movies that have chronicled other recent Olympic Games.
“These have really been films that have captured rather than the highlights of the Games the essence of what the Olympics is all about,” Rowland says.
There had been some speculation that no official film would be made of the 2012 Games given - as Rowland puts it - “we are in an age of immediate media consumption and the live sport and highlights packages were so much more important than telling the stories behind the stories.”
However, Rowland, whose “bid” films for London are credited with helping win the games for the UK, has lobbied fiercely to be allowed to make the 2012 film.
“I went to the IOC and LOGOC and started to lobby to acquire the rights to make the film. It has been the toughest negotiation of my life bar none,” Rowland adds.
Her EIS-backed movie will tell the story of 12 first-time Olympic athletes from all around the world in the six weeks leading up to the Games and in London itself.
The protagonists include:
- 17-year-old American swimmer Missy Franklin (“the most down to earth, sweet, all American girl from Aurora, Colorado”)
- Brazilian swimmer Bruno Fratus
- Kenyan 800 metre runner David Rudisha
- Queen Underwood, a lightweight woman’s boxer from the US
- US gymnast John Orozco
- British handpall player Holly Lam-Moores
- Brit sprinter James Ellington
- Velodrome cyclist Laura Trott
- French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre
- Chinese diver Qiu Bo
- Aussie BMX rider Caroline Buchanan
- Irish boxer Katie Taylor
- Kosovan Judo champ Majlinda Kelmendi, who will be competing for Albania
“We’ve structured the narrative to allow five, one from each continent, to emerge as the lead story,” Rowland explains. “Each has a touch point that links them into the others…the film is unashamedly aimed at the teen and young adult audience.”
Rowland is currently shooting US swimmers in Tennessee and will shortly head to Kosovo. She has a second unit team in Brazil. Once the Games commence, she will have three crews in action at London 2012 sites.
“Given this demand by young consumers for content while it is fresh and relevant, I think it is very important that we are in the market this year. The strategy is that we’ll be in cinemas around November and then on TV and home entertainment before Christmas,” Rowland says.
An international distributor for the project is expected to be announced shortly.
New Moon has the rights to the film for seven years. After that, these rights will revert to the IOC. “Because of the restrictions of Olympic rights, we are restricted to working only with rights holidng broadcasters on the TV and Home Entertainment side,” Rowland says. The BBC will therefore be given first refusal to take the UK TV rights.