In 2005, filmmaker Ameesha Joshi was at a World Press Photo Exhibit when she came across pictures of Indian girls boxing on the beach. Ameesha is a first-generation Canadian born to Indian parents and she understood immediately the social pressures the boxers would face, on top of all the pressure to train and perform. She knew she had to tell their story.
It took over 10 years for Ameesha and fellow filmmaker Anna Sarkissian to raise the funding, borrow the equipment, and shoot the documentary, With This Ring, chronicling the meteoric rise of three Indian women who would go on to become world champion boxers. One of those women is Mary Kom who just won her sixth world championship two weeks ago, the first woman to hold the world title that many times.
Ameesha and Anna lived alongside the boxers for months at a time, following them to competitions in India, China, Barbados, and then all the way the London Olympics. And even though they were the best in the sport, even though they were winning all the time, they were ignored at home until Mary won an Olympic medal. Then Priyanka Chopra played her in a Bollywood biopic in 2014.
Ameesha Joshi and Anna Sarkissian won the Emerging Director (Documentary) award at the Asian American International Film Festival and the Festival’s Choice Award for Best Documentary Film at the New Jersey Indian International Film Festival. With This Ring was made with an all-female crew, written, directed, produced, filmed, and edited by women on a shoestring budget. They say that “if you see it, you can be it”. This is a story about women told by women for a new generation of women who, hopefully, will be more supported than those who came before.
For more on With This Ring, visit the website. The trailer is below. And it is available today to rent or purchase on Amazon and Vimeo On Demand.
Yours in gossip,