‘Kamali’ won the Best Documentary Award at the Atlanta Film Festival, qualifying for the 2020 Oscar shortlist.

Kamali short film on 9-yr-old skateboarder girl from TN qualifies for OscarsPhoto credits: Jaime Thomas
news Film Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 13:59

A year after she made headlines as the skateboarding sensation from Tamil Nadu, nine-year-old Kamali Moorthy is all set for another milestone in her life. A short film on the little girl, her mother and grandmother, has now qualified for the 2020 Academy Awards shortlist.

Titled Kamali, the story follows Kamali's mother Suganthi's struggle to liberate her children from the shackles of tradition and patriarchy.

“When Suganthi (Kamali’s mother) sees her children, she reflects on her childhood and how she could not do the things she wished to do because of the society. Today, she wants Kamali to taste the freedom she did not have,” Aine Edwards, Kamali’s mentor tells TNM. 

The 24-minute short film directed by filmmaker Sasha Rainbow from New Zealand won the Best Documentary at the Atlanta Film Festival in April. With this, Kamali has qualified to be in the Academy Awards Shortlist for 2020.

“The crew came and shot the film over six weeks. After it was edited, they even sent it to the Mumbai International Short Film Festival in December 2018, where it won Best Director Award,” Aine tells TNM.

Also read: The little girl from Mahabalipuram who is taking Indian skateboarding scene by storm

Kamali has the distinction of being the sole girl skateboarder from Mahabalipuram, a windy fishing town in Tamil Nadu. She has also toured across the country along with professional skateboarding teams to promote the sport. Living by the beach, she also surfs and dreams of becoming a professional surfer and skateboarder.

“I think this award is the biggest achievement of my life, only after my children of course,” Kamali’s mother Suganthi tells TNM.

Watch the trailer of Kamali here: