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A film on women footballers from Jharkhand

Filmmakers keen to make a film on women footballers of Jharkhand

Bollywood filmmakers have proposed to make a movie on the Jharkhand women’s football team, but their coach Franz Gastler is in no mood to entertain such requests.

Coach Franz Gastler with the the Jharkhand women’s football team
Coach Franz Gastler with the the Jharkhand women’s football team

Gastler, an American national, who built the team with 18 tribal girls about five years ago, does not want any distractions. “My inbox is full of requests from filmmakers but we are not really interested in putting cameras in the kids’ house right now. We are already short-staffed,” said the coach.

Filmmakers Sohail Tatari and Dilip Deo have been trying to convince him for the film but Gastler has put his foot down. However, Sohail hasn’t given up hope. “There has been miscommunication. I want to make a film by drawing inspiration from the lives and achievements of the girls, not shoot with them,” he said.

On the other hand, Dilip Deo, who had sought to collaborate with Gastler for a film titled Maradona, said he would make the film, regardless of the consent.

“I belong to Ranchi and had planned the film much before Gastler came into their lives. I did ask him to come on board but he refused. My story is about the struggles of these girls and there cannot be any copyright issue of stories of struggle and triumph,” said the editor-turned-filmmaker.

Bend it like Beckham

Eighteen tribal girls started playing football in the farms of Ormanjhi near Ranchi, thanks to support from American national, Franz Gastler. The foreigner founded Yuwa, an NGO, in 2009 to use football as a tool to promote health and education. The girls ended up playing two international tournaments and were chosen as one of the top 10 teams. The girls also finished in the third place at Gasteiz Cup.

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