Directed by Natasha Verma
For the past two years, our film crew has followed the inspirational life of professional boxer Heather Hardy from Brooklyn, a woman who was raped and uses boxing as a way to fight back. She trains at the legendary Gleason’s Gym where Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali trained.
When we first met Heather, she was homeless amid Hurricane Sandy raising her daughter as a single mother. She had nothing but two hands and an unbreakable will.
Against all odds, She gave herself a fighting chance.
We chronicle her battle to raise her daughter while pursuing a difficult relationship with her demanding trainer, who is also her lover. We filmed her blood, sweat and tears as she fought to prove her worth in a male-dominated industry and ultimately become a world champion.
The film has the potential to impact and move masses with its powerful message of gender equality, a concept that has repeatedly come up in the media, and for a good reason.
Heather is the ultimate female phenom to promote this message.
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ABOUT THE CREW
NATASHA VERMA (DIRECTOR) Natasha Verma was born in New York City and raised in South Texas. She is a 20-year old television journalist, producer and filmmaker. Her work has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News. Verma received her M.S. with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to Columbia, she graduated from the University of Texas with two degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Biology (Pre-Medical). She currently works as an anchor for NBC2 News and is founder of the nonprofit organization, Global Health Foundation.
LOU DIBELLA (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) Lou DiBella is a boxing promoter and television/film producer. He is the founder and CEO of DiBella Entertainment based in New York City. In 2007, DiBella produced the documentary, “Magic Man,” which depicted the life of Paulie Malignaggi and his rise in the world of boxing. The documentary had its television premiere on Showtime and was later aired in the United Kingdom leading up to the Malignaggi vs. Lovemore Ndou fight, where Malignaggi retained his titled.
JAY GIANNONE (PRODUCER) Jay Giannone is an established writer, producer, actor and director. He grew up in the Old Harbor Projects of South Boston. As an actor, he has appeared in several television shows including the HBO hit series “Entourage,” which is based on his real Hollywood life experience with friend Mark Wahlberg. His feature film roles include box office hits Confidence”, “Gone Baby Gone”, “Three Kings”, “The Game Plan”, “Departed”, “The Iceman” and most recently David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” where he can be seen as Jim, opposite Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and a star-studded cast.
SARAH DEVORKIN (EDITOR) Sarah Devorkin has worked as an editor in documentary film and television since 2008. Recent credits include Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields (SXSW, 2010); Page One (Sundance, 2011); and All of Me (LA Film Festival, 2013 and Independent Lens, 2014). She lives in Brooklyn.
BILL CASSARA (CINEMATOGRAPHER) Bill Cassara spent thirteen years with CBS News, specifically 60 Minutes and 48 Hours, supervising field production, photography and lighting of the highest profile subjects. He spearheaded the production team on interviews with every United States President since Ronald Reagan, as well as the Rolling Stones and Bode Miller. He’s worked on a number of documentaries and TV specials as a cinematographer.
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