We've seen movies about football and basketball, rugby and even bobsledding. But we haven't seen a movie about quidditch (unless, of course, you count Harry Potter, but for the sake of this argument, we are not).
Director Farzad Nikbakht Sangari is changing that, with a documentary about "the imaginary game of quidditch and the people who transformed it into a real-life sport," called Mudbloods.
Quidditch, which originated as a fictional game in the Harry Potter franchise, became an actual sport in 2005, thanks to a "small group of creative students" at Middlebury College in Vermont. Now, there are teams on over 300 college campus.
One team in particular, UCLA's quidditch team, is at the center of Sangari's doc, which follows the team to the 2011 Quidditch World Cup where they compete against 94 other teams from four nations.
Spoiler Alert: If you check the official World Cup rankings from 2011, it appears that UCLA lost to Middlebury, coming in 7th place, while Middlebury eventually won the whole thing. But, as they say, it's about the journey, not the destination. Right?
"I think quidditch can change the way people think about sports. It can change the way people think about communities and societies," Alex Benepe, IQA Commissioner, explains in this clip. "I think this sport has huge potential to change the world."
The film is currently attempting to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter to finish the project, with funds raised paying for animation, music, color correction, etc., and "helping us bring this story to as many people as we can."
For anyone who hears "real-life quidditch" and is justifiably skeptical, just watch the video—It's quite impressive. Obviously the flying broomsticks and bewitched balls were lost in adaptation, but otherwise the sport remains true to J.K. Rowling's vision. And it is a sport, one requiring all the disciplines you'd need to play any other sport (agility, speed, strength).
Actually, it looks pretty friggin' brutal too. Did you see that girl get clobbered?!
Three chasers play with a ball called the quaffle and score goals worth 10 points each by shooting or dunking the ball through any one of three hoops at the other end of the pitch. They advance the quaffle down the field by running with it, passing it to teammates, or kicking it. Each team has a keeper who defends the goal hoops. Two beaters use dodgeballs called bludgers to disrupt the flow of the game by "knocking out" other players. Any player hit by a bludger is out of play until they touch their own hoops. Each team also has a seeker who tries to catch the snitch. The snitch is a ball attached to the waistband of the snitch runner, a neutral athlete in a yellow uniform who uses any means to avoid capture. The snitch is worth 30 points and its capture ends the game. If the score is tied after the snitch catch, the game proceeds into overtime.
And further notes that the sport focuses on "competition, community and creativity."