Katya Bankowsky

Katya Bankowsky is the writer, director, producer, and editor of the award-winning documentary film Shadow Boxers, the first ever feature-length documentary on female boxers. After premiering in the Berlin and Toronto International film festivals in 1999 and picking up awards for direction, cinematography, editing and music along the festival circuit, Shadow Boxers obtained worldwide distribution through Image Entertainment. Upon it’s theatrical release, the NY Post review said "Boxing hasn’t been shown this creatively on screen since Raging Bull." The LA Times said "Shadow Boxers is the best boxing film you are likely to see".

Katya was amongst the first women ever to box in the historical 1995 New York Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing Competition where she began filming Shadow Boxers before focusing in on Lucia Rijker, the first rising star of women’s professional boxing and eventual undefeated world champion.

At the Toronto Film Festival premiere of Shadow Boxers in 1999, Lucia Rijker met Hillary Swank the star of Boys Don’t Cry. Swank later asked Lucia Rijker to train her in the ring for her role in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, a film which owes much of it’s inspiration to Shadow Boxers according to writer Paul Haggis. Lucia Rijker was eventually cast as Swank’s nemesis in Million Dollar Baby landing Rijker her acting debut in her first mainstream Hollywood film.

[bio courtesy of the filmmaker] 


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