5 July 2016

Freedom Run, or The Torch Song, on Doordarshan


As a child I used to love the Freedom Run, or The Torch Song, very much. Whenever it came on Doordarshan I used to sit up straight and watch it without batting my eyelids. The background music was riveting and very catchy. The visuals were captivating and magnanimous. Sport personalities running mostly in slow motion seemed damn cool back in those days.

This filler-film was first shown on Doordarshan on 15th August 1987. Officially this short film was called 'Spread The Light Of Freedom'. DD's agenda was to spread the message of national integration and instill a sense of pride among Indians. Also 1988 was the year of Seoul Olympics. The Freedom Run was also meant to pay tribute to our various sports personalities and boost up the spirit of sports in our country. This film was created by the Bombay based advertising agency Ogilvy Benson and Mather (OBM). 

Yes, thats right, I still prefer to call her Bombay, and not Mumbai. 

The real brain behind the concept of the Freedom Run was the then creative director of OBM, Mr. Suresh Mullick. He also wrote the script and was in charge of the overall direction of this film. The production team chosen by OBM consisted of Kailash and Jeet Surendranath of Far-Video. The breathtaking and memorable music was composed by Louis Banks. The man behind the camera was R.M. Rao. However it seems to me that the creators of this film were inspired by Vangelis' Chariots Of Fire theme.  

Nobody charged their fees. They all created this masterpiece without making a single paisa of profit. It was for the love of their motherland. Only the actual production costs were covered by the Government. 

The dramatis-personae in their order of appearance in the film are : 

K. Srikkanth 
P.K. Banerjee 
Chuni Goswami 
Shiny Abraham 
P.T. Usha 
Ramanathan Krishnan 
Ramesh Krishnan 
Tiger Pataudi (with his daughter Soha Ali Khan) 
Kapil Dev 
Milkha Singh 
Jarnail Singh 
Nirupama Mankad 
Taranath Shenoy 
Michael Ferreira 
Balbir Singh 
Merwyn Fernandes 
Sunil Gavaskar 
Abbas Moonstasir 
Adille Sumariwala 
E.A.S. Prasanna 
B.S. Chandrashekar 
S. Venkatarahavan 
Prakash Padukone 
Fifty Children from Lawrence School, Lovedale, Ooty 


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