Bollywood plans biopic of boxing hero Mary Kom

A Bollywood film-maker is working on a movie about Indian boxing star and mother-of-two Mary Kom, whose bronze medal at the London Olympics cemented her status as a national hero.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali said Tuesday he was moved by the story of Kom, a poor farmer's daughter from the remote northeast of India who overcame the odds to become a five-times world champion and Olympic medallist.

"Here's a person so splendid, so inspiring, so wonderful," Bhansali told AFP. "Her story needs to be told to the world. It's a wonderful story of a fighter in life."

Bhansali, who directed the 2002 hit movie Devdas, said biopics were not made frequently in Hindi-language Bollywood, but he was "very, very moved" when he read the script.

He admitted he has not yet found an actor for the lead role.

"We'll be auditioning a lot of people for it. Let's see," he said.

Bhansali will be producing the film, while Omung Kumar, who wrote the script, will direct, with a scheduled release date in the the middle of next year.

Kom, 29, told The Times of India she hoped the film would improve ties between the marginalised northeast region where she comes from and the rest of the country.

Earlier this month, thousands of migrants fled from south and west Indian cities after rumours they would be attacked in retaliation for violence in Assam state, which lies in the volatile northeast.

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