Native American fighter Kali Reis plays a former boxer in search of her missing sister in writer-director Josef Kubota Wladyka’s thriller.
Native American professional boxer Kali Reis is ready to rumble in writer-director Josef Kubota Wladyka Catch the beautiful, a daring thriller that IFC Films will release on February 11 in select theaters and on digital and VOD platforms.
Reis, who has Cherokee, Nipmuc, and Seaconke Wampanoag ancestors, is the first Indigenous fighter to win the International Boxing Association middleweight crown and is currently the WBA Super Lightweight Champion. For his first performance in Catch the beautiful – which IFC selected for a release at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award and Reis received a special jury honor – the 35-year-old Rhode Island native was nominated in the category Best Female Actor of the Independent this year. Spirit Award.
“My first name ‘Mequinonoag’ means ‘Many feathers, many talents’ in our Algonquian dialect,” Reis said in a prepared statement. “This name was given to me by my mother, Patricia ‘Gentle Rain’ Booker, member and medicine woman of the Seaconke Wampanoag tribe. The strength and wisdom of our Indigenous women leaders and ancestors runs deep in my warrior veins, alongside the long line of resilience of our women.
“As a boxer, I put my heart and my mind to use the ‘medicine’ given to me by the CREATOR through the art of battle in this square circle. The fight became a ceremony, “my prayer” representing ALL NATIONS, doing what we indigenous peoples have done for centuries: fight and survive. I walk with a Pucker Toe moccasin and boxing boot with every step.
According to the IFC press service, Catch the beautiful Kaylee ‘KO’ Uppashaw (Reis), a former Native boxer, follows when she discovers that her missing sister may be alive and in a trafficking ring. She plugs into this dark and dangerous world to find her. Kaylee’s strength and determination are put to the test as she leads the real fight of her life: reuniting with her sister and rebuilding her family.
“Catch the beautiful plays like a beautifully crafted thriller, ”said Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films,“ while shedding light on an infamous problem in North America – the trafficking of Indigenous women – and we were absolutely stunned by how which Josef Kubota Wladyka dealt with such an emotional subject. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring new talent to the IFC family with Wladyka, and the raw and brutally powerful performance of newcomer Kali Reis, and to continue working with this incredible production team.
Here is the official trailer of Catch the beautiful.