Boxing: Katie Taylor & Queen
Underwood to star in Official London 2012 film
By Michael O’Neill
July, 22, 2012
(JULY 22) We now know that
the official London 2012 Olympics film will be written, produced
and directed by Caroline Rowland of the London-based New Moon
The film, simply named “ FIRST” has been approved by both the
International Olympic Committee and the London 2012 Organising
One of only 12 ‘athletes’ selected to appear in the final
production is 26 years old, Irish boxer, Katie Taylor who will
be seeking Gold in London, the first time that women’s boxing
has ‘officially’ featured in the Olympics.
Another is U.S Boxing’s , Quanitta “Queen” Underwood, who , like
Taylor, will be hoping to strike Gold in London Town.
With a very strict timescale, Caroline Rowland is hoping to
complete production of the film in time to screen it at the BFI
London Film Festival later in the Autumn.
Most recent Olympic Games have featured films by the late, great
Bud Greenspan . Speaking this week to “Screen Daily”, Rowland
“These have really been films that have captured rather than the
highlights of the Games the essence of what the Olympics is all
about,” Rowland says.
There had been some speculation that no official film would be
made of the 2012 Games given – as Rowland puts it – “we are in
an age of immediate media consumption and the live sport and
highlights packages were so much more important than telling the
stories behind the stories.”
Rowland, whose “bid” films on behalf of London are credited with
helping win the games for the United Kingdom ,has consistently
lobbied both the IOC and LOCOG to be allowed to make this film.
“I went to the IOC and LOCOG and started to lobby to acquire the
rights to make the film. It has been the toughest negotiation of
my life bar none,” Rowland told Screen Daily’
Her English Institute of Sport (EIS) -backed movie will tell the
story of 12 first-time Olympic athletes from all around the
world in the six weeks leading up to the Games and in London
The athletes are:
Ireland’s 4 time World, 5 time European 60 kg champion (and also
International footballer) Katie Taylor
Queen Underwood ,the lightweight boxer from the US, who narrowly
lost to Katie Taylor in the 2010 World championship in Barbados
US gymnast John Orozco
American swimmer Missy Franklin , 17 yrs old, tipped to win
several medals in London
Brazilian swimmer Bruno Fratus
Kenyan 800 metre runner and record David Rudisha trained by
Irish missionary Brother Colm O’Connell
British handball player Holly Lam-Moores
Brit sprinter James Ellington
Velodrome cyclist Laura Trott – one of the gold medal favourites
for London 2012
French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre
Chinese diver Qiu Bo
Aussie BMX rider Caroline Buchanan will be one of Australia’s
main hopes for Gold
And Kosovan Judo champ Majlinda Kelmendi, who will be competing
“We’ve structured the narrative to allow five, one from each
continent, to emerge as the lead story,” Rowland explained to ‘ScreenDaily’.
“Each has a touch point that links them into the others…the film
is unashamedly aimed at the teen and young adult audience.”
Rowland has recently finished filming U.S swimmers in Tennessee
and will shortly head to Kosovo. She has a second unit team in
Brazil. Once the Games commence, she will have three crews in
action at London 2012 sites.
“Given this demand by young consumers for content while it is
fresh and relevant, I think it is very important that we are in
the market this year. The strategy is that we’ll be in cinemas
around November and then on TV and home entertainment before
Christmas,” Rowland says.
New Moon has the rights to the film for seven years. After that,
these rights will revert to the IOC. “Because of the
restrictions of Olympic rights, we are restricted to working
only with rights holding broadcasters on the TV and Home
Entertainment side,” Rowland says. The BBC will therefore be
given first refusal to take the UK TV rights.
So who is Caroline Rowland?
Caroline founded New Moon in 1996 and since then has been
featured in the Who’s Who of Britain’s Young Entrepreneurs, and
described by BAFTA’s Academy Magazine as “hot young talent” in
the British Film Industry. The Observer included Caroline
amongst their list of the ten most influential people in winning
the Bid for the London 2012 Olympics.
As Executive Creative Director, Caroline’s most significant
projects since the London 2012 films have included the stunning
re-interpretation of W. H. Auden’s ‘Nightmail’ for the Royal
Opening of St Pancras, the film ‘Belief’ for the Beijing Olympic
Games, films for Sochi’s successful bid to host the 2014 Olympic
Winter Games, the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Bid, Dubai’s
sponsorship of horseracing and film. In addition, Caroline
co-directed the landmark documentary ‘We Are The People We’ve
Been Waiting For’, working in collaboration with Lord Puttnam.
Most recently, Caroline has been the creative lead on
Pyeongchang’s 2018 Winter Olympic bid and is currently working
with Falcon Associates to exploit the power of film to build the