India’s Mithila Palkar (Netflix’s “Little Things”) and Jaaved Jaaferi (“Sooryavanshi”) and Bangladesh’s Siam Ahmed (“Shaan”) have joined the cast of “In the Ring (Story of a Burqa Boxer).”
Set in the female Muslim boxing community of Khidderpore, Kolkata, India, the film is a psychological thriller about Shama, a 17-year-old boxer who exchanges places with her double to fight in the national championship when she is framed in her aunt’s murder.
The cast also includes Razia Shabnam, one of the first Indian women to become an international boxing referee and coach.
The Hindi-language film will be directed by U.S.-based filmmaker Alka Raghuram, who previously directed the acclaimed documentary “Burqa Boxers,” about Muslim women boxers in Kolkata.
The project is being produced by Sreyashii Sengupta for Singapore-based Darpan Global and Souvikk Dasgupta for Oriizon Global in India, with Los Angles-based Rick Ambros serving as executive producer.
Raghuram said: “I started writing this script while I was filming the documentary ‘Burqa Boxers.’ While the immersion into their world allowed me to tell the documentary story in the style of realism, it also made me want to explore the interior [worlds] of the characters via a more stylized narrative and style. In that sense, this particular version of the story has been over a decade in the making, waiting for the right family of collaborators to bring it to life. I am thrilled to have found a home in them.”
Sengupta said: “Growing up in Kolkata and always searching for stories from my roots whilst in Singapore, I was unaware of this community of spirited women till I watched her documentary. The intensity and power of such a story then made into film gives it a voice like no other.”
Ambros added: “I first came across this project at Film Bazaar in Goa where I met Alka and knew immediately I wanted to be part of bringing this script to life. The story of a young marginalized woman trying to improve her station in life the only way she knows how by fighting in the boxing ring has universal appeal and timeless resonance.”
Dasgupta said: “Oriizon Global is a story telling company. Stories which have never been told. The stories of people across borders of country, time and place. Connecting the core of feelings and emotions no matter where one is. In The Ring is the story of one such community in Kolkata that will find its ground across the world wherever it is watched.”
Principal photography will begin Dec. 2022 in India.
Sengupta is currently at the Cannes Film Market to seek collaborators for the project in sales, distribution and co-production.