Legendary filmmaker Majidi stumped by Eden crowd

The legendary Iranian filmmaker was at the Eden Gardens to watch the Indian Premier League (IPL) fixture between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Majid Majidi: "I follow football. I have never played the game, but it is very popular back home."   -  SHAYAN ACHARYA

Standing ovation and red carpet entries are something that Majid Majidi is quite habituated with. But Saturday evening, in Kolkata, was different for the legendary Iranian filmmaker.

After spending the whole day,  promoting his forthcoming film, ‘Beyond the Clouds’—that hits the theatres next Friday—Majidi reached the Eden Gardens to watch the Indian Premier League (IPL) fixture between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

This, incidentally, was Majidi’s first visit to an Indian cricket stadium, and the director was stumped to see a packed Eden cheering for the Knights. “I came here to watch cricket. It is good,” Majidi told Sportstar.

The 58-year-old, known widely for his cult films like ‘Children of Heaven’ and ‘The Colour of Paradise’, also revealed his love for sports. “I like swimming, horse riding and there was a time I would play basketball regularly. Not that I played it professionally, but I enjoyed playing the game,” Majidi said with a smile.

A football fan

Despite his busy schedule, Majidi makes it a point to follow football. No matter which part of the world he is in, the filmmaker ensures that he keeps a track on football events. “I follow football. I have never played the game, but it is very popular back home,” he said.

With Iran featuring in this year’s football World Cup in Russia, Majidi hopes to follow each and every game of the team. “We are in the World Cup this time and I am going to follow it throughout,” the director said.

Even though Iranian films are known for their serious subjects, football and other sports, remain a part of the script. “Sports has a different cultural aspect, sometimes it can make nations closer," he said before adding, "Sometimes, some countries even have problems with other nations, but through a sporting event or a match, they could make it a lot softer."

After spending a couple of days in Kolkata, Majidi will be travelling to Chennai on Sunday to attend a special screening of his new film. Indian music maestro, A. R. Rahman, music director, will be in attendance as well.

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