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Bollywood plans biopic of boxing hero Mary Kom

Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali 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.

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

Mary Kom
Mary Kom is declared the winner over Tunisia's Maroua Rahali in the women's flyweight boxing quarter-finals of the 2012 London Olympic Game. File Pic/AFP

"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 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. Kumar incidentally has worked with Bhansali as art director in 'Black' and 'Saawariya'.

Kom, 29, had recently told a leading Indian daily that 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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