Toronto: 'The Favourite' Producer Punches Up Boxing Biopic 'In the Shadows'

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Ramla Ali (left) won a match at the Boxing Elite National Championships in 2016 in Liverpool, England.

Lee Magiday has lined up the upcoming project for her newly launched banner Sleeper Films, teaming with Madeleine Sanderson of Curate Films, with backing from Film4.

Academy Award-nominated The Favourite producer Lee Magiday has lined up boxing biopic In the Shadows for her newly launched banner Sleeper Films, teaming with Madeleine Sanderson (Being APFighting for a City) of Curate Films, with backing from Film4.

In the Shadows will tell the real-life story of Ramla Ali, who fled Civil War in Somalia as a young girl, seeking asylum in London. Years later, Ali discovered her passion for boxing but was forced to pursue this in secret, knowing her family would disapprove. Her determination led to her becoming the first-ever British female Muslim boxing champion, and Ali is now training to become the first boxer to represent Somalia in the 2020 Olympic Games. 

Ali was also selected as one of 15 women to appear in 2019 British Vogue’s September cover issue feature titled, "Forces for Change," guest-edited by Meghan Markle.

In the Shadows will mark the narrative fiction debut of Emmy and BAFTA-winning documentary filmmaker Anthony Wonke (Syria: Children on the FrontlineFire in the Night), working from a screenplay by playwright and screenwriter Ursula Rani Sarma (Robot and Scarecrow, Delicious). 

Film4 is backing the film’s development, overseen by its senior commissioning executive Julia Oh.

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Sept. 8 daily issue at the Toronto Film Festival.