Pic will be produced under Magiday’s newly founded production company Sleeper Films and Madeleine Sanderson (Being AP) of Curate Films.
Emmy Award and three-time BAFTA winning documentary filmmaker Anthony Wonke (Syria: Children on the Frontline) will make his narrative fiction film debut. Playwright and screenwriter Ursula Rani Sarma (Robot and Scarecrow) is writing the screenplay. Film4 is backing the pic’s development, overseen by their Senior Commissioning Executive Julia Oh.
Ali fled Somalia with her family as a young girl, seeking asylum in London from the Civil War. As a teenager, she pursued her love of boxing, but did so secretly as she knew her family would disapprove. Her determination to win led her to the England Novice National Championship, the Elite National Championships and the Great British Championships, becoming the first ever British female Muslim boxing champion. She will become the first boxer to represent Somalia in the 2020 Olympic Games. She is currently the African zone Featherweight Champion and is an exclusive global Athlete for Nike. She was selected as one of 15 women to appear in 2019 British Vogue’s September cover issue feature titled, “Forces for Change,” guest edited by The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
Anthony Wonke said: “I first met Ramla and was immediately struck by how inspirational, relevant and important her journey is in our world today. I want to make a film that will be highly intimate, steeped in contemporary mores that explores the fascinating shades of belief, gender, love, race, religion and identity. For me, this is the story of a modern-day heroine. I’m thrilled to be working with such strong producers as Lee Magiday and Madeleine Sanderson backed by Film4.”
Magiday and Sanderson said: “Ramla’s story is current, vital and timeless and captures the deepest wish within us all to forge our own paths and be supported by those we love the most. Her passion and ambition to inspire and empower young Muslim women to believe in themselves and follow their dreams is amazing to witness. Anthony’s combination as a filmmaker to be both bold and sensitive, ambitious and nuanced, will make this a very powerful and special film which we are honored and excited to bring to the screen.”
Ali is repped by AJ Boxing Management and IMG Models. Wonke and Rani Sarma are repped by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.