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French film on Bangladeshi chess champion to be released in October

  • Published at 07:59 pm June 13th, 2019
Fahim Mohammad
French citizen and National Junior Chess Champion of France Fahim Mohammad was born in Demra of Dhaka | Collected

Fahim also competed in the European Championship. His biggest moment came when he successfully became the World Junior Chess Champion

A French-language film titled “Fahim” is being made as an adaptation of the novel, “A Clandestine King,” which in turn is based on Bangladeshi-French junior chess champion Fahim Mohammad.

Nura Alam’s son Fahim was born in Dhaka’s Demra area in 2000, and emigrated with his father at the age of eight. Both sought political asylum in France, but their applications were rejected after two years. After that, Fahim and his father began living in France as illegal immigrants.

Nura is a chess aficionado, who continued to train his son in the game in spite of all their miseries. After Fahim managed to win an under-20 chess tournament, he was noticed by a local chess trainer. With his advice, Nura took Fahim to Tomas de Bourganeuf chess club, located at Creteil region of Paris, to continue his training. The father-son duo started living in a tent by a stream on the grounds of the club.

Later, Fahim spent nights with various families. Under the tutelage of a former coach of the French national chess team, Xavier Parmentier, Fahim starts winning one chess championship after another. When Fahim became the undefeated champion of the French national under-12 chess tournament, the news went viral in the French media.

On the back of Fahim’s success, his father received a temporary work permit for three months on May 11, 2012. Fahim enrolled in school, and in 2013, he became the best chess player in the under-13 category at the World Chess School Championship, held in Greece.

Fahim also competed in the European Championship. His biggest moment came when he successfully became the World Junior Chess Champion.

Despite their struggles, Fahim and his father did not break down and continued to show determination and their fighting spirit. Literally, Fahim has won his life on the chessboard.

Finally, through the intervention of French Chess Federation and French Sports Ministry, the matter of Nura and Fahim’s citizenship was resolved. Fahim is not just good at playing chess, he also managed to learn French faster than most non-native speakers.

In order to cast the roles of Fahim and his father, an advertisement was posted on the Facebook page of Bangladeshi Community In France (BCF). Fahim’s role went to Ahmed Assad, while Nura will be played by Mizanur Rahman, both actors are expatriates.

Fahim’s coach, Xavier, will be portrayed by Gerard Depardieu. The film, directed by Pierre-François Martin-Laval, was shot at various locations in Paris, Kolkata and West Bengal tourist destination Taki, which is located at North 24 Parganas district. 

The film will hit theatres in France on October 16.

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