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<i>90 minutes</i> unveiled at IFFI 2006

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Thursday, November 30, 2006
Panaji (UNI): Debutant Bollywood director Iqbal Rizvi says that there is no better medium than sports to convey inspiration.

''Having played football myself, I know it is an ideal way to portray that one can achieve self- belief,'' Iqbal, who is the son of noted character actress Shammi, told a press conference here to unveil the first look of his film 90 minutes along with producer Padmini Kapila and the cast.

Iqbal, who plays football for a club in Mumbai, says that people have seen enough of cricket. ''Football has a global audience and the excitement associated with the sport is amazing, ''he added.

Iqbal said '90 minutes' was an emotional story set against the backdrop of football. ''It deals with the highs and lows of success and how humans cope with it. It sends out a message that if you believe in yourself and if you never give in when the chips are down, nobody can stop you from succeeding. During a football match, your character is tested and your true self is revealed and this aspect is the significance of the title film", 'he added.

''To resurrect something you believe in, to inspire people around you, to realise the potential and to achieve it in limited resources is a huge accomplishment-that is what coach Sam played by Manoj Bajpai sets out to do and to achieve it is his goal,'' the director explained.

The characters in the film bring their own colour to the story further adding drama to the film. The film travels through a web of emotions and teaches us that in belief lies the germ to achieve, he added.

Iqbal said the beauty of football or any other sport is that how much you may prepare your team, it is ultimately the players that play and a coach can only watch from outside. This trait is so much similar to life where we can only plan but are mere witness to see it as it unfolds. This interesting mix of life is what we are trying to conquer and that is known as the triumph of human spirit. ''Our film tries to portray this aspect depicted through the lows of emotional upheaval to highs of inspirational brilliance, all captured in the journey of Sam and his boys of Lawerence college in Sanawar, Simla.'' Sanawar also happens to be the school of the director Iqbal.

Iqbal said he had approached football authorities in Goa to shoot his film but the costs were too high. ''My film is 80 per cent complete and I plan to shoot the balance in Malaysia,'' he added.

Iqbal said he had cast all newcomers, including some from the modelling world as members of the team. ''I have cast good actors who can also play football. They underwent a two- month professional training in football and a month's training in martial arts.'' He described Manoj Bajpai as a very involved actor who understood the nuances of his character.

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