India’s New Game (Melbourne Documentary Film Festival) – Film Review

Directed by Australian filmmaker Mark Hellinger, India’s New Game is a short documentary film that follows the first ever Indian Australian Rules Football team to compete in a football game in India.

In India, Australian Rules Football has stated to gain a following. So much so that an Indian Football Team has been formed and they will play the first Australian Rules Football game in India when they take on a team of Australian footballers. India’s New Game follows the Indian Football Team as talk about their love of football and the build up to the big game.

This documentary film is simple, yet effective in its approach. It only includes interviews with the Indian players and footage of the game in India, showing the Indian players and locals kicking and playing around with a football. It is heart-warming to hear how much the game means to the players and how important it is for them that they found this game. It makes them feel like they are part of something special and it makes them happy.

I also enjoyed the look of the Indian football jumper as it includes the colours from the Indian flag consisting of orange, white and green. I believe these colours make for a nice-looking football jumper and are colours that are not commonly seen in the Australian Football League, so it was a refreshing and unique looking jumper.

The only real negative thing that I can say about this film is that it is too short, which might sound like a strange criticism to say about a short film. But at six minutes in length, I feel like that the film is over before you really get a chance to fully appreciate it, just when you’re starting to get into it. I do feel that the film could have been expanded on, and the film would have benefited greatly by having just a little more detail explained to the viewer.

For example, I would have liked it if the film had included a little more context on how Australian Rules Football started to have a following in India and how people in India discovered the sport. I also would have liked little more background on the Indian football team, how the match against Australia came to be, as well as what the Australian players thought about travelling to India to play a football match, and what they thought about Australian Football taking off in India.

India’s New Game is a touching film that I felt could have been improved if it was slightly longer and went into more detail about its subject matter which could have made the film even more rewarding.

India’s New Game plays Short Session 3 as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on the 24th July 2022.
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