Paul Greengrass shoots and scores with Barcelona film Barça

British director is in Cannes to sell movie celebrating recent success of Catalan side

Barcelona's footballing style has been compared to high art, and it emerged yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival the team will become the focus of a "cinematic portrait" by blockbuster director Paul Greengrass.

The celebrated British director, who began his career making documentaries for ITV's World in Action, is to direct Barça, "an epic cinematic portrait of FC Barcelona", covering four years in which they won an extraordinary 13 trophies.

The film is in pre-production, and the backers are in Cannes to sell it internationally. Greengrass, whose films include The Bourne Supremacy and United 93, said: "They [Barcelona] have given the world a rare glimpse of sporting perfection, and memories that will last for as long as the game is played." The director himself supports Crystal Palace.

Manager Pep Guardiola stepped down from the Catalan club in April, saying "the reason is simple: four years are long and they wear you down".

During his reign, Barcelona have won 13 trophies so far, including two Champions League wins and three Spanish titles, with players including Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta entrancing football fans around the world.

Greengrass is to work with Chris King, the Bafta-winning editor of Senna, the documentary about the life of the Brazilian Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna. Sport and political writer John Carlin will be executive producer.

Glen Basner, of FilmNation Entertainment, which will handle the sale, said: "With Paul's tremendous talent, this is sure to become the singular film on football."

Cannes was in full flow for the second day of the festival yesterday.

Two films in competition were screened: Rust and Bone, starring Marion Cotillard, and After the Battle, an Egyptian film set in Tahrir Square.

Director Yousry Nasrallah warned yesterday the revolution in Egypt "is not over yet" as strict censorship on cinema and music has been imposed in the wake of the Arab Spring. He said the film's selection sent a strong message for those in Egypt looking to shackle artists.

"In a context when the cinema is being attacked as a sin, along with singing and music, when these art forms are being censored by Islamic parties, the commitment of the actors and the director is a commitment to cinema," he said.

After the Battle follows the unfolding drama through the characters of Reem, an advertising executive-turned-activist, and Mahmoud, a horse rider from Giza.

The action follows the Battle of the Camel in February last year, when Mubarak supporters and others manipulated by the regime charged against the protesters in Tahrir Square on horses and camels.

"The film was made in an exceptional situation. That it was selected is a signal to the industry and the Arab world. It is only with liberty and freedom that we can achieve this kind of thing," the director said.

The filming took 46 days over a period of eight months and the production was given a code name to suggest it was a romantic comedy.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum