“Light fly, fly high” tells the personal and inspirational story about Thulasi, a young girl in contemporary India who refuses to accept her position at the very bottom of the social ladder.

Thulasi had a rough time growing up in a society where girls are expected to be obedient, dutiful and willing to get married when their parents tell them to. But Thulasi was always different. She doesn’t want to wear a saree, she’s not interested in cooking, and she decided from an early age that she would never be anyone´s wife. Born outside caste she is expected not to dream of greater things, but Thulasi is determined to live life on her own terms. She wants to be someone. She wants to be a boxer. “Light fly, fly high” follows this couragous girl through three eventful years with many unexpected turns. Taking the audience on a journey with extreme ups and downs, victories and defeats, both in the ring and in her personal life.

Supported by Norwegian Film Institute, Danish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Freedom of Speech Foundation, Norwegian Counsil of Mental Health/ExtraStiftelsen, Arts Council Norway and Fofogofo, NRK, DR, and RUV.

Production info

Producer: Fri Film AS, Susann Østigaard and Beathe Hofseth
Co-producer: Made in Copenhagen, Helle Faber
Directors: Susann Østigaard and Beathe Hofseth
Editor: Siv Lamark
Sound design: Morten Green, Peter Albrechtsen
Composer: Troels Abrahamsen, Kjetil M. Hovland, Mike Sheridan

Genre: Documentary
Length: 58 / 80
Broadcasters: NRK, DR, SVT, RUV, YLE Third Dimension
World premiere: IDFA, November 2013
Norwegian premiere: Tromsø International Film Festival, January 2014

Pitched and developed

How it started

The inspiration for “Light Fly, Fly High” came as early as 2005. A photo article by Danish Miriam Dalsgaard about female boxers in India made us curious. Who were these girls? And what made them choose such a non-traditional and male-dominated sport? We felt there had to be some strong stories behind their choices.

In January 2010 we went to India to seek answers to some of our many questions. We met several girls during our trip, but when Thulasi came walking towards us that morning at Nehru Stadium, we realized that we had found our main character. There was something about her that made her stand out in a crowd of youngsters. There is something about Thulasi that makes you not want to take your eyes off her. At that very moment we knew that this was only the beginning of a long journey.

After four years, six trips and nearly five months in India, the film about Thulasi is ready to meet its audience. Thulasi is our heroine, and we hope that the story of her struggle, both inside and outside the ring, can inspire others to find courage to be different and fight for the right to be themselves.