Documentary, 75 minutes
In a culture where beauty, delicacy, refinement and submission are the prized traits to the ultimate feminine career fulfillment--marriage--three young Muslim women in Kiddirpur, Kolkata battle tradition and challenge stereotypes by learning boxing. BURQA BOXERS follows three young Muslim women as they learn boxing with Razia Shabnam, one of the first Indian women to become a boxing coach and an international referee. Together they learn to face the biggest obstacle in their paths, fear. Fear of society, of family, of not fitting in…as they take the first baby steps on a journey towards empowerment.
Burqa Boxers was developed with the support of Diversity Development Fund from ITVS.
It was awarded Grant Open Doors in 2011.
Producers: 24 images, Deann Borshay Liem, Premlatha Durham
Current stage: Post production
Alka Raghuram Bio:
Alka Raghuram is a filmmaker and a multidisciplinary artist who tells stories in an effort to make sense of the world. In September 2014, Alka collaborated with dancers Pandit Chitresh Das (Indian, Kathak) and Antonio Hidalgo Paz (Flamenco) to create video vignettes for their performance Yatra (Journey) comprising poetry, photography, painting and calligraphy about the historical connection between the two dance forms. The performance premiered at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.
Her fiction project “The Conqueror” was invited to Berlin Talent Project Market in 2008, and also Tribeca All Access, where Alka was awarded the L’Oreal Woman of Worth Vision Filmmaker Award.
Alka’s short films Tired of Dancing, Panchali and The Ant and The Monkey have screened at various festivals in the US and abroad. Panchali received the John Gutman award for innovation in cinema and was a regional finalist in the Student Academy Awards (2004). The Ant and The Monkey received the Emerging Arts Fund in Spring 2006 from The Peninsula Community Foundation, and was nominated for the Princess Grace Award in 2005. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries and Museums in New York.
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