This Short Film Titled Kamali On India’s 9-YO Skateboarding Star Qualifies For Oscar 2020


A short film named ‘Kamali’ shot extensively on the coastal region of Mahabalipuram has been qualified for the Academy Awards shortlist.

Around the same time last year, a nine-year-old Kamali Moorthy rose to fame for being the only girl skateboarder and surfer in Tamil Nadu. The New Zealand born filmmaker, Sasha Rainbow had first traveled to India to shoot a music video “Alpha Female” by a UK based band Wild Beasts where she featured Kamali and other girl skateboarders.


After meeting Kamali, she was fascinated by Suganthi, Kamali’s mother, for her resilience to keep her daughter’s dream alive. The short film is a documentary which depicts the struggle of a daily wager, Suganthi, and her fight to keep her daughter’s dream intact. It also focuses on how Kamali went from a girl in the neighborhood to become a skateboarding champion.


“Kamali’s story represents an incredible moment in India and shows how massive change can start with just one person. I believe Kamali’s mother Suganthi and others like her are heroes who should be celebrated for their bravery”, director Sasha Rainbow said.

While talking to NDTV, Suganthi said, “My parents and the local community did not approve. They used to ask her life would be spoiled if she breaks her limbs. I want her to reach greater heights. She should not be like me with limited exposure”.


Kamali was born into a fishermen family on the coast of Mahabalipuram town. Her father parted ways with her mother after their divorce and since then Suganthi is single headedly been taking care of her. Sasha Rainbow wants to build a larger skateboarding part in Mahabalipuram. If it is done, it would be a great community place for more children to take up skateboarding.

The film has already won top accolades in the recently concluded Atlanta Film festival and is gearing up for 2020 Oscars.