Documentary ‘Kamali’ based on single mother and the young skateboarder in BAFTA race


The real life based inspiring and heart touching story of a single mother Suganthi’s struggle to break from gender shackles for her 10 year old daughter Kamali Moorthy’s empowerment through skateboarding stands a chance to be nominated in British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).

After winning at the Academy Award-qualifying Atlanta Film Festival, Kamali, which was filmed in the coastal town of Mahabalipuram in India’s Tamil Nadu, had a shot at the Oscars. But it missed being in the shortlist. Being nominated for a BAFTA Award, is, however, a ray of hope. “I think we’re really focused on celebrating the victories! To be longlisted for the Oscars is a huge honour and now we are BAFTA- nominated. I think we’ve gone further than all of our expectations,” Rainbow said, adding that the news “still hasn’t sunk in”.

Kamali, directed by Sasha Rainbow is 24-minute-long documentary. The London based director from New Zealand,is nominated in the British Short Film category of the Awards, organised annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Interestingly, it’s competing, among others, with Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You’re A Girl), the story of young Afghan girls learning to read, write and skateboard in Kabul, and Azaar, which is set in 1800s India and has Hindi-speaking protagonists.

Rainbow first contact with kamli, who belongs to small fishing village, she saw her in a picture shared by a American professional skateboarder Jamie Thomas who taught Kamali skating when she was six years old. She recalls, she saw the picture of that little girl  skating bare foot on the streets while researching the music video about the female skateboarders in India. When she had a conversation with her mother and heard their story, she said, “I knew I had find a reason to come back to India and share this story.”

Her mind never aroused this thought that whether this story was worth telling to the world since Kamali symbolises so much of what the world could be,” says Rainbow, for whom skateboarding has a deep metaphorical significance.

She adds,” To get good at skateboarding, you have to fall and rise again and yet good at tumbling and realising that failure is an  inevitable path that doesn’t mean the end but a chance of improvement.”

Rainbow has a hope that Kamali could be a feature Bollywood movie and in the village where girls like Kamali live will be introduced to a big skate park where they could learn skateboarding.


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