Kamali, A Film About A Young Indian Skater Girl Wins Top Honors.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


We've been a fan of director Sasha Rainbow since we saw British band Wild Beast’s music
video ‘Alpha Female’ that she directed. The video, filmed in India was about girls breaking gender stereotypes through skateboarding. And it was so powerful taht we watched it on repeat for months!

Now Sasha has a new film out, "KAMALI".  The film recently won Best Short Documentary at Academy Award qualifying Atlanta and also Best Director at Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival, and it's headed to win more awards by the looks of it.

Watch the trailer for KAMALI here

Seven-year-old Kamali is the only girl skateboarder in a small fishing village in India where, by chance, a skate ramp happened to be built right outside her house. Kamali is the youngest of three generations of women living together in her home. Suganthi, Kamali’s timorous mother, was locked away as a child until the day she was married. Having recently found the courage to leave her abusive
husband, Suganthi decides to take a pilgrimage in a quest for self-discovery. As mother and daughter are separated for the first time, both must find their freedom as they dare to step outside into a man’s world.

The film, shot in the traditional fishing village of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, follows the story of
Kamali Prakash, a charismatic seven-year-old making waves in her village, the skating community, and soon, worldwide. Kamali and her family open their doors into the rarely seen world of a traditional Indian fishing family trying to create a positive future for themselves.

photo of Kamali by Daniel Kagoo

"Kamali’s story represents an incredible moment in India and shows how massive change can start with just one person. I wanted to create a film that celebrates everyone who takes the risk to be themselves. I believe skateboarding is a symbol of going against the grain, standing boldly in front of society and taking ownership of one’s life. I feel that Kamali’s mother Suganthi, and others like her, hidden by the walls of their homes, are heroes who should be celebrated for their quiet bravery.
I hope this film does just that."

~ Sasha Rainbow

Q&A with director Sasha Rainbow and her film KAMALI

What brought you to make the Kamali documentary?

It was by chance that I met Suganthi, Kamali’s mother, while shooting the Alpha Female music video for Wild Beasts about the new female skateboarding movement in India. Suganthi’s fight to empower her daughter was incredibly moving and I felt it was important to share her story.

What’s the message you wanted to get across though this?

I think in the current political climate people need to be reminded that there are incredible, positive things going on that can create a wave of inspiration. I wanted to create a film that celebrates the risk people take to live their truth, despite all odds and show how great change can start with just one person.

How was your overall experience of India?

This was my third time in India; each time has been a different experience! We were lucky in that
Kamali’s family really took us in. We experienced home cooking on an open fire, hidden villages, local markets.I wouldn’t say it’s the easiest place to work, but the people, the food (best vegetarian in the world), the colours and the music...it’s such a special place.

What are your thoughts of the skateboarding scene in India?

I sense such community there. It feels like the skateboard crew Holystoked have built a community where people feel they can be themselves and express themselves without judgement. Skateboarding is a symbol for these women, a symbol of going against the grain, standing boldly in front of
society and taking ownership of their lives. It symbolizes freedom and choices for these young girls, and it’s awesome to see just how much it’s helping these girls develop their confidence, and how much the men have supported the women.

Do you have a message you’d like to share?

Every one is a winner when women are emancipated

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