About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.
The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in this UK-wide festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation and leave a lasting legacy for the arts in this country. People can sign up at www.london2012.com/festival now to receive information.
Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival. The British Council will support the international development of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad projects. Panasonic are the presenting partner of Film Nation: Shorts.
CHARIOTS OF FIRE RE-IGNITES
Perhaps the best known film to grace this cultural Olympiad will be the new digitally remastered version of Chariots of Fire.
Collin Wellands’s script had been knocking around for years in the offices of prod-co Goldcrest. It landed on the desk of Mohamed Al Fayed and he was persuaded to read it; the story of one man who will not compromise his conscience but still wins an Olympic Gold Medal and another who overcomes anti-semitism to triumph in the 100 metres. He immediately decided to back the film. Director Hugh Hudson cast Ben Cross and Ian Charleson as the British sportsman competing in the Paris Olympics of 1924. It went on to win four Oscars at the 1981 Academy Awards, including best picture, best original screenplay, best costume design and best original music for Vangelis‘s rousing score. But none of this would have been possible without Egyptian financing and that came courtesy of Mr Al Fayed.
The digitally restored Chariots of Fire will be re-released in more than 100 UK cinemas from 13 July with £150,000 in funding from the British Film Institute. It opens two weeks ahead of the London 2012 Olympics’ opening ceremony.