Direc­tor Ro­man Gack­owski, who has made a film on bas­ket­ball player Satnam, says he’s a soft­hearted, fun guy

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Entertainment - Shreya Mukher­jee

Bas­ket­ball player Satnam Singh Bhamara’s hu­mour

im­pressed Ro­man

Gack­owski when he met the bas­ket­ball player for the first time. And the Emmy-award win­ning direc­tor con­fesses it was quite a sur­prise.

“When we see or first meet an ath­lete who is as phys­i­cally in­tim­i­dat­ing as Satnam, you ex­pect they are the same off the court or play­ing field. What we learned is that he is very much the op­po­site. He has a won­der­ful sense of hu­mour and is ex­tremely re­spect­ful, per­haps too much so in that he is learn­ing to be even more ag­gres­sive on the court,” shares Ro­man, who with pro­ducer Michael Rat­ner has made a doc­u­men­tary, One In a Bil­lion, on Satnam. He adds that they were in­ter­ested in the project as they wanted to high­light Satnam the per­son in it. “In many ways, Satnam was a true pi­o­neer in his at­tempt to be­come the first ever In­dian-born player to be drafted in the NBA, yet we al­ways felt that the core of the story was the young man him­self,” says Ro­man, ad­ding that he had a won­der­ful time shoot­ing the film in In­dia as Satnam’s fam­ily made sure that they were pam­pered with yummy au­then­tic lo­cal cui­sine.

What’s his favourite part of the doc­u­men­tary? “A scene when Satnam re­counts the mo­ment when both he and his coach at the IMG Academy in Braden­ton, Florida, re­alised that he had fi­nally over­come the lan­guage bar­rier that had been mak­ing ev­ery­day life, as well as bas­ket­ball, dif­fi­cult for him. You can hear in his voice and see it in his face, the re­lief and hap­pi­ness that Satnam felt at that mo­ment, and that it would be a turn­ing point in his jour­ney. It is a sim­ple mo­ment in the film but one in which ev­ery­one in the edit room wanted to give him a hug,” re­counts Ro­man.

Satnam Singh is ex­tremely re­spect­ful, per­haps too much so in that he is learn­ing to be even more ag­gres­sive on the court RO­MAN GACK­OWSKI, FILM­MAKER


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