Olympic film re-released for new audiences

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A re-released version of Chariots Of Fire is to have centre stage at the finale of the London 2012 Festival of culture and arts.

The digitally-remastered cut of the much-loved 1981 Oscar-winning sporting classic will hit the big screens across the UK on July 13.

The film tells the true story of Eric Liddle and Harold Abrahams, who won gold medals at the 1924 Olympics despite great personal obstacles.

The release – by Twentieth Century Fox and the British Film Institute (BFI) – is being timed to help show off both old and new home-grown industry talent as the global spotlight is fixed on the UK during this year’s Olympics.

Chariots Of Fire is about guts, determination and belief,” producer Lord Puttnam said.

“Just as the film succeeded in raising spirits and aspirations thirty years ago, I believe it could deliver exactly the same message today.

“At the heart of the film is the quest for Olympic glory, and I find hard to imagine anything more likely to resonate throughout the country this summer.”

During the 1924 Olympics Liddle, a devoutly religious man, would not run his qualifying heat because it fell on a Sunday, while Abrahams, who was Jewish, faced anti-Semitism.

The BFI has provided Lottery funding of £150,000 through its Prints and Advertising Fund to back the Chariots of Fire re-release so a new generation of audiences have a chance to see the movie.

The film won four Oscars, including best picture and best original screenplay.

The London festival runs from June 21 until September 9 and includes a “diverse array” of films.