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Jungle Cry special screening: Paul Walsh, Kolkata diplomats celebrate Abhay Deol's film and city's love for rugby

The film that is based on true events of underdog KISS Jungle Crows’ win at a global rugby tournament has a deep Kolkata connection

  • Shamayita Chakraborty

Last Updated: 11.43 AM, Jun 06, 2022

Jungle Cry special screening: Paul Walsh, Kolkata diplomats celebrate Abhay Deol's film and city's love for rugby
Abhay Deol and Emily Shah in the film

Kolkata-based rugby club Jungle Crows, the British Deputy High Commission and the Australian Consulate-General organised a special screening for Abhay Deol-Atul Kumar’s Jungle Cry at the British Club in Kolkata on June 5. The film is based on the true story of the journey of the 2007 Kiss Jungle Crows team that won the TourAid Cup in London. Paul Walsh, one of the key characters in the film (played by Stewart Wright) and founder of the club, was also there at the screening.

Jungle Cry delves into the inspiring journey of 12 underprivileged children from India winning an international championship. In the film that is directed by Sagar Ballary, Abhay plays the real-life character Rudraksh Jena – the coach of the team.

In real life, the journey of Jungle Crows began in 2004 when three rugby enthusiasts, including Paul, who were diplomats at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s office in Kolkata opened a rugby club. Soon, youngsters joined in and Paul stayed back even after his tenure. Talking about the journey to the media, he said, “What went into this adventure was trust and faith in an idea that on the face of it was just a little bit crazy. Friends who found sponsors, coaches who encouraged the children, and teachers who went the extra mile, the team that made the whole thing happen was wide and each played their part, and mostly we are all still connected.”

Addressing the audience, British Deputy Head of Mission, Yemi Odanye said, “The UK and India share a love for sports. It gives us immense pleasure in hosting the screening of the movie whose seeds were sown at the very same place where you are standing now. The two great democracies, both India and the UK, share a vision to empower the next generation of leaders. The British Deputy High Commission Kolkata is happy to support the youth in India and will continue to do so in whatever we can within the parameters of the development.”

Jungle Cry is currently streaming on Lionsgate Play.