The sport biopic is a well entrenched genre in cinema. Various sports have not only encouraged feature films, such as Chariots of Fire, Field of Dreams, Chak De India, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Race, but also inspired short films that attempt to encapsulate the themes of defeat, victory and glory over the course of a few minutes. Here are a fictional shorts that tell simple yet compelling stories about the possibilities and limits of human endeavour.
The Champion (1915) The legendary Charlie Chaplin plays an accidental boxer who grapples with the petty politics of the boxing world while training for a match. He also falls in love with his trainer's daughter.
Rocky VI (1986) Finnish satirist Aki Kaurismaki shoots a parody of the Sylvester Stallone starrer Rocky IV. Rocky VI turns the tables on the traditional underdog narrative. Here, it is the top dog (Russian fighter Igor) who mops the floor.
The Track Meet (2010) Starring Miles Teller as a track and field star, The Track Meet shows Teller’s character on the trail of the perfect pair of shoes for a mysterious woman whom he keeps seeing during training. Teller attempts to woo the woman in the uncomfortable heels, one shoe at a time.
Baghdad Messi (2012) It is 2009 and the long-awaited clash between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is round the corner. Ten-year-old Hamoudi, who has one leg missing, is a Messi fan from Iraq and cannot wait to see Ronaldo lose to his idol. The 19-minute film shows how violence has failed to crush the passion of Iraqi children for football.
Vanvaas (2015) A father and son at odds at each other bond over the shared experience of listening to cricket match commentary. Directed by Sandeep Modi and starring Piyush Mishra, the eight-minute film uses cricket as a neutraliser to bridge the gap.