Delhi-based director Misha Kumar brings six gripping stories from Kerala in FIFA’s first Indian sports documentary, “Maitanam”.
Football is said to be in the blood of the denizens of the Indian state of Kerala. Now fans of the game from Australia to America can experience their passion, excitement and tension on the field in a new FIFA documentary.
Directed by Delhi based filmmaker Misha Kumar, ‘Maitanam’ — described as a 40-minute love letter to the game — is the first Indian sports documentary for the newly launched digital streaming platform – FIFA+ in India.
Shining a light on the ‘beautiful game’ as played in India, Maitanam —Malayalam for ‘ground’ or, by extension, stadium — tells six inspirational and vivid stories from Kerala where football is a way of life.
A loving ode to Kerala’s passion, it captures the Malayali passion for the sport across Kerala with breathtaking visuals and non linear free flowing narrative.
Electric juxtaposition of on and off field scenes — coconut cutting, fishing boats, one passing kid making a sign — makes it an absolutely gripping tale.
Produced by RISE Worldwide, Maitanam joins an elite list of global sports storytelling content as part of the select FIFA+ Originals made available globally. The docu-film is now streaming worldwide on FIFA+ (Watch it here).
From the state capital Thiruvananthapuram in the extreme south to the commercial capital Kochi, to the cultural capital Thrissur — the documentary covers diverse terrains.
There are priests that play barefoot, a women’s team that has been making waves in overseas competitions and little girls training under nonagenarians.
And then there is a fascinating football commentator whose passion for the game is manifested in every belly-laugh and anecdote to the game of football in the state of Kerala.
The film is already making waves on social media. Kerala Sports Minister V Abdurahiman calls it “FIFA’S salute to the football madness in Kerala” on his official Facebook page.
“FIFA has officially released a documentary about Kerala football in the name of Maitanam. Now the whole world will know Kerala football closely,” he posted.
“What an outstanding film on Kerala’s love affair with football this is,” tweeted Anant Tyagi, anchor, commentator and emcee at Star Sports.
“Loved it and lived it! Big up to the @themishanthrope and@R1SEWorldwide for putting this together so beautifully with @FIFAcom. Go give it a watch,” he wrote.
“Growing up in Kerala, it was impossible to escape the deep-rooted and all-encompassing passion around the land for football, easily the most popular sport back then,” tweeted Ajesh Ramachandran, an Executive Producer at the ICC. “Delighted that my friend @themishanthrope has made a film on this!”
“FIFA+ Originals are aimed at millions of sports fans across the globe,” said Andrew Whitelaw – Commissioning Editor & APAC Content Lead, FIFA+. “These films throw up unique perspectives on how football is played across geographies and cultures and the place the game commands in the hearts of fans.”