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The Great Game - 30,000 Miles Across Central Asia

Jon Beardmore, 38 and frustrated with his 9-5 career, makes a decision that will change his life forever.

He is inspired by Peter Hopkirk’s classic book The Great Game, On Secret Service in High Asia, and armed with a burning desire to return to Afghanistan to play a game of cricket.

Jon sets out on an extraordinary nine-month solo overland journey across Central Asia in a 20 year Landcruiser called Boris and only his mascot Kiwi Ted for company. And he sets off with one burning question in mind - is Central Asia really as dangerous as we’re led to believe?

The challenge to navigate across 30,000 miles and 30 countries becomes a true test of perseverance, tenacity and desire to overcome obstacles and the unexpected physical and mental challenges.

It’s a journey where Jon learns more about the human nature than he could possibly imagine. Where he explores the man-made borders that have turned people into enemies and discovers, when it all comes down to it, people are essentially the same, everywhere in the world.

The Great Game is a story that will challenge your perspectives and preconceived ideas of an area of the world, which people have made huge assumptions about, and yet know very little.

  • Jon Beardmore
  • Jon Beardmore
  • Luis Castro
    Hawaii the Stolen Paradise
  • Jon Beardmore
    Key Cast
  • Pablo Hita
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Adventure, Travel, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 12, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, India, Iran, Islamic Republic of, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russian Federation
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HDV
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Adventure Travel Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    August 12, 2016
    World Premiere
Distribution Information
  • SouthriseTV
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Jon Beardmore

Jon Beardmore is a highly motivated and resourceful professional who has spent the last 17 years combining a successful career and worldwide travel to visit over 70 countries experiencing diverse cultures and environments.

Following his passion for adventure, travel and exploration lead Jon to attempt to drive 30,000 miles across Central Asia in 2013. With no experience of major overland vehicle journeys he prepared and went solo on this epic expedition. Filming the journey felt like the logical thing to do.

As a first time film maker it has been a creative challenge to bring the story to the screen. This film is the product of his remarkable adventure. A book is also being written and due out in 2017.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The story of the film originated from my first trip to Afghanistan in 2009. As a member of the first cricket team to tour Afghanistan and play the Afghanistan national side in Kabul. First hand I witnessed the positive nature of the Afghan people and the power of sport to bring change to a challenging part of the world. I knew immediately that after this trip I would return one day.

There began my fascination with the region, its history and its current part in worldwide affairs. After completing an extensive trip around South America in 2010/11 my focus turned to my next challenge. Central Asia and Afghanistan was the obvious choice.

My vision for the journey was to explore present day Central Asia along the former Silk Road routes, retracing the steps of the players and the historical events of The Great Game. Through the interaction with the local people, cultures and landscape, the aim was to compare and contrast the historical version with modern day Central Asia.

The challenge to complete a solo overland vehicle journey across Central Asia from London to China and back to London over 9.5 months encompassing 30 countries was bigger than anything I previously attempted.

It turned into a journey beyond anything I could have imagined, one that constantly surprised and challenged me, sometimes to point where I questioned my own sanity. What has resulted is a film that I am proud to share, and hope will surprise and entertain in equal measure.