Actors Mithila Palkar and Jaaved Jaaferi will be seen in Alka Raghuram’s upcoming project, In The Ring, Variety has reported. The film was announced at the Cannes Film Market during the ongoing festival. The director was seeking collaborators in sales, distribution and co-production.
The film is said to be a psychological thriller which is set in the female Muslim boxing community in Khidderpore, Kolkata. It revolves around Shama, a 17-year-old boxer who exchanges places with her double to fight in the national championship when she is framed for her aunt’s murder.
The cast will also include Bangladeshi actor Siam Ahmed and Razia Shabnam, one of the first Indian women to become an international boxing referee and coach.
Raghuram directed the feature documentary Burqa Boxers, which also revolves around the female boxers from Khidderpore. It was one of the 12 projects selected for Open Doors Co-production Market of Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland, where it was awarded, Grant Open Doors.
She said that she started writing the script for In The Ring while she was filming Burqa Boxers.
“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,” Raghuram said.
The film is being produced by Sreyashii Sengupta of Singapore-based Darpan Global and Souvikk Dasgupta for Oriizon Global in India, with Los Angles-based Rick Ambros serving as executive producer. It will begin its principal photography on December.
“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,” Sengupta said in a statement.