SRINAGAR: History has been created after a documentary on Real Kashmir Football Club (FC) won the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Award (BAFTA) Scotland award at Glasgow in Scotland.

The documentary revolves around Real Kashmir FC’s coach David Robertson and traces his journey from Rangers FC to Kashmir. Under David’s stewardship, Real Kashmir FC in their debut season, stood third in prestigious I League tourney in India.

The hour-long film, which was aired by BBC Scotland earlier this year, won in the ‘Single Documentary’ category.
“It feels amazing to have received this award at one of the biggest platforms in the world, BAFTA. Our dream, which started as a small team of Kashmiri Youth, playing football as a hobby, soon became one of the biggest and the most successful dream runs by any team,” said Sandeep Chattoo, co-founder of Real Kashmir FC.

This is the second time when Real Kashmir Football Club (FC) has created a splash in the world of cinema. Earlier, a short film on the club `The Real Kashmir’ was featured in the Cannes.

In fact, there are many firsts associated with Real Kashmir FC. It became the first local football club to hire a former famous Scottish player David Robertson to coach the youngsters. David was playing for Rangers FC and Leeds United before taking up the coaching assignments.

Established in 2016, the Real Kashmir FC is an only club from Kashmir to have played in Scotland. In their debut season in the highly competitive, I League Real Kashmir FC finished third on the table, and on the way beating powerhouses such as Mohun Bagan and eventual champions Chennai City FC.

Real Kashmir FC also had huge attendance in all home games played at the TRC astro-turf with an average audience of 25000. In last I League also saw the first-ever match played in the snow when RKFC took and defeated Gokulam Kerala FC. Real Kashmir FC is like a mini-world with players of different states and nations proudly wearing the colours of this big family.

“It’s not really about football. It is about the chance to get behind something and have some hopes and dreams which is away from politics,” Greg Clarke, director of the show Coach David Robertson said he and team members wanted to deliver their best. “I was in the US for ten years, and it is difficult to get back in the game, and when the opportunity came, I took it. I had thought that everywhere in India was hot but realized on the second day in Srinagar when it was snowing… It doesn’t matter where you are in the world; you want to do your best,” he said.

Ishfaq Ul Hassan

An accredited journalist with 22 years of professional experience, Ishfaq-Ul-Hassan has worked as a reporter based in Kashmir for two decades. He has covered various beats including militancy, politics, defence, minorities, social issues, religious groups and women issues in Kashmir. He had previously worked as Special Correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir for DNA (Daily News and Analysis) Newspaper for 13 years. Ishfaq is also associated with the New Delhi- based television company `Asia Pacific Communication Associates’ which produced the famous series “Subah-Bakhar-Kashmir” for satellite Kashmir channel of Doordarshan. In 2004, he was awarded the Charkha-Sanjoy Ghosh Fellowship for Peace and Development for his research on families divided across the LOC in Kashmir.

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