In India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Masters, driven by a man with a vision. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players.
In India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Masters, driven by a man with a vision. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. Algorithms is a documentary on the thriving but little known world of Blind Chess in India. Filmed over three years, Algorithms travels with three talented boys and a totally blind player turned pioneer to competitive national and world championships and visits them in their home milieu where they reveal their struggles, anxieties and hopes. Going beyond sight and story, this observational sports doc with a difference moves through the algorithms of the blind chess world challenging the sighted of what it means to see. It allows for the tactile and thoughtful journey that explores foresight, sight and vision to continue long after the moving image ends.
Ian McDonald is a sociologist and documentary filmmaker developing a centre for Film Practice at Newcastle University. Having always used the camera to support his research on sport and physical culture in UK and India, Ian’s move to documentary filmmaking, benefits from a seemingly effortless ‘way of seeing’ that has resulted in documentaries with a difference on art and sport, especially of the ‘sporting outsider’- the one who is seen as ‘different’ by a ‘normal’ society. His documentaries have been screened at film festivals, conferences and campaign meetings around the world. Algorithms is Ian’s debut feature documentary.