Private Project

Project Wild Women

The filmmaker, 26 , born and raised in a small village, wanted to escape the stifling surroundings of her orthodox family. She thought to herself if she is the only one fighting to keep her passion for sports alive or are there other girls like her.

With many questions in her mind, she went on a journey across India to find women like her and start a dialogue with them. During the journey, she found 13 women practicing 11 different extreme and alternative sports. The film explores her conversations with these women and gives us a glimpse into their life of practicing extreme and alternative sports, and what drives these women in a country such as India where women pursuing extreme sports is still looked down upon.

  • Kopal Goyal
  • Trip 360
  • Shilpi Sharma
    Additional Camera
  • Jied Nongkynrih
    Additional Camera
  • Praveen Jayakaran
    Additional Camera
  • Tribhuvan Kokkula
    Additional Camera
  • Shivam Aher
    Additional Camera
  • Raman Verma
    Additional Camera
  • Rick Meloff
    Additional Camera
  • Dominick Rosolie
    Additional Camera
  • Khaba Maimom
    Additional Camera
  • Kopal Goyal
  • Kopal Goyal
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 28, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    2,788 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, India
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • London Mountain Film Festival

    United Kingdom
    May 8, 2020
    Only festivals
    People's Choice Award
Director Biography - Kopal Goyal

Born in a small town in Bihar, Kopal left her home for further studies because her village didn’t offer schooling beyond 8th grade. After completing high school, she pursued journalism.

Journalism gave her a new perspective of the world, the society, and her life. A job of a trainee editor in Network 18 didn’t satisfy her hunger to tell people stories, and she quit the job to become a full-time athlete. At the same time, she got drawn to climbers in Delhi, and she used her camera LENS and a different world view to tell their STORIES.

She made her first climbing film on Ganesha 8b+ - India’s hardest route, which was supported by communities and magazines. It won Best Climbing Film award at IMF Festival, 2018. The film was critically challenging as she was belaying and shooting the athlete at the same time. Most of the scenes from the film were shot with nightmarish memories.

This built her confidence and she went on to make her mark in sports documentaries with Project Wild Women, Kokankada and Durga: Forging New Trails. Her past films also include Free Soul, which was awarded as Best Extreme Sports Film at IMF film fest 2020. She has founded “Inspire Crew’’ - a platform to bring and connect people who practice in the outdoors with compassion where anyone can practice regardless of age, gender or social status.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

When I started rock climbing, I had no idea that my life would change forever. Practising climbing has given me confidence and courage to fight for my passion. Quitting a good steady job to pursue rock climbing was never an easy decision. Pressure to get married, to pursue more traditional career paths and bitter arguments with my father was my everyday life. Undeterred by criticism and pressure, I gave yoga lessons in the day, and turned to climbing in evenings to make ends meet. To pursue sports under such circumstances was emotionally exhausting and painful.

India is a country where academics is given more importance than sports. With very limited resources for sports, most are reserved for men. Women are, more often than not, mocked at and taunted for practicing sports professionally. My story wasn’t different from the stories of many other women who faced stigma and were made to feel guilty simply because they wanted to play a sport. By this time in my journey, I was already battling with disorders and personal problems. But I was determined to make things better for myself and it is this pursuit towards self-improvement that led me to seek out other sports women practicing adventure and alternative sports. From funders and sponsors doubting my idea, to many athletes outright refusing to talk to me for the documentary - this has been a journey of ups and downs.

This documentary portrays pro and amateur practitioners because I want to let viewers know that it's not always about competing against each other or establish oneself as a professional athlete. It is a fight against social stigma, to tear down the stereotype image and to do something which satisfies the soul. Some facts have been highlighted by male athletes too; to spread the message of compassion and acceptance with ease.

The camera work may seem very handy and I had very limited and basic equipments. Different sports demand different camera equipment for which I did use a few hacks. As a storyteller, my motive is to not be stopped by limitations. My focus is to bring out these stories to the viewers, just the way they are.

Today when I am all ready to release Project Wild Women, I want to pay my gratitude to each and everyone who has helped me in my journey and those who did not because all this has given me different experiences.
Making this film not only helped me connect with these wonderful women and tell their stories to the world, it also gave me a new-found courage to face the world. I was able to travel in city busses packed with men in the middle of the night without fear - this is what Project Wild Women has done. It's made the impossible possible.