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John Abraham starrer 1911 aims for 2020

John Abraham, Bhushan Kumar and Nikkhil Advani
John Abraham, Bhushan Kumar and Nikkhil Advani

John Abraham’s dream to make a film on India’s historic football match will finally be fulfilled. ‘1911’, directed by Nikkhil Advani starring John and produced by Bhushan Kumar has been officially announced. T-Series, JA Entertainment and Emmay Entertainment have come together to produce six films by various directors. The first of this deal is ‘1911’ starring John Abraham, directed by Nikkhil Advani goes on floors in November 2019 and will be shot over three months in Kolkata. The makers are eyeing for a mid-2020 release for ‘1911’. For over five years John Abraham has been living with a dream. An avid football enthusiast whose owns his own team, NorthEast United FC, the actor has been waiting to bring one of India’s historic matches to the screen, dating back to 1911.  John Abraham will be playing the role of Shibdas Bhaduri, who captained the side.

Speaking about the project John says, “What makes ‘1911’ special is that it is not just about the coach, the players or even the game, it’s also about India’s freedom struggle.  Like with ‘Parmanu’, the idea is to educate in an entertaining way so viewers walk out of the theatre saying, ‘Wow, I didn’t know this!’” Director Nikkhil adds, “I’ve been wanting to make a film set in Kolkata, talking about its people, culture and heritage. ‘1911’ is even better because it moves beyond Bengal to encompass all of India and its history. It’s a huge responsibility to tell this story right as it’s almost folklore to the people of Bengal as well as it’s so close to John. I’m thrilled he thinks that I will be able to do it justice.” Bhushan Kumar says, “We are extremely happy to announce our first film as part of our six-film deal and it gives me great pleasure to be associated with a film which tells the story of the emergence of the most iconic club in India, as well as a truly inspiring moment in our history.”

The Mohan Bagan Athletic Club was established in 1889 by three well-known aristocratic Bengali families in North Kolkata. The team won its first trophy only 15 years later but under their coach, Sailen Basu, quickly rose in the ranks. In 1911, it was invited to take part in the prestigious Indian Football Association (IFA) Shield. With brilliant players like Hiralal Mukherjee, Bhuti Sukul, Sudhir Chatterjee, Manmohan Mukherjee, Rajen Sengupta, Nilmadhav Bhattarya, Kanu Roy, Habul Sarkar, Abhilash Ghosh, the team captained by Shibdas Bhaduri who played alongside his older brother Bijoydas Bhaduri, notched up one win after another, making it to the final where they were up against East Yorkshire Regiment, an elite branch of the British army. On July 29, almost 10,000 football enthusiasts lined up as the players took the field. The Indians were a match for the better trained British players in every way till Sergeant Jackson scored the first goal with just 15 minutes left for the final. Mohun Bagan responded with one of their own and then it was a fight to the finish.

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