After premiering to a thunderous response at the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival, Sumo Didi, which tells the story of India’s first professional Sumo wrestler Hetal Dave, was screened at the 35th Palm Springs International Film Festival recently, is being viewed as a ground-breaking film from India that is bringing glory to the nation. Sumo Didi is the only Indian film to have been showcased at these two film festivals this year.
With Shriyam Bhagnani in the titular role, Sumo Didi portrays the journey of an Indian middle-class girl who turned her perceived weakness, her weight, into her greatest strength, challenging stereotypes and representing India in female sumo wrestling on the global stage.
Buzz around the film suggests that after The Lunchbox (2013), this is a rare gem emerging from the country which has the same potential as its predecessor to appeal to global audiences because of its theme and compelling narrative.
Films with a local flavour have had a humongous impact at the global stage. Looks like Sumo Didi is no different. The film which battles social prejudices and has an inspiring message at its core is finding resonance on an international stage and with audiences across the globe.
Sumo Didi, the unusual story based on true events in the life of India's only female sumo wrestler, Hetal Dave, is directed by ad film director Jayant Rohatgi and is written by Nikhil Sachan. Presented by Jio Studios, the film is produced by Jyoti Deshpande, National Award-winning production house FreshLime Films and MA&TH Entertainment.