Native American fighter Kali Reis plays a former boxer searching for her missing sister in writer-director Josef Kubota Wladyka’s thriller.
Native American professional boxer Kali Reis is ready to rumble in writer-director Josef Kubota Wladyka’s Catch the Fair One, an edgy thriller that IFC Films will release Feb. 11 in select theaters and on digital platforms and VOD.
Reis, who has Cherokee, Nipmuc and Seaconke Wampanoag ancestry, is the first Indigenous fighter to win the International Boxing Association middleweight crown and is currently the WBA Super Lightweight Champion. For her debut performance in Catch the Fair One — which IFC picked up for release at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award and Reis received a special jury accolade — the 35-year-old Rhode Island native has been nominated in the Best Female Lead category of this year’s Independent Spirit Awards.
“My given name ‘Mequinonoag’ means ‘Many Feathers, Many Talents’ in our Algonquian dialect,” Reis said in a prepared statement. “This name was given to me by my mother, Patricia ‘Gentle Rain’ Booker, member and Medicine Woman of The Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe. The strength and wisdom of our Indigenous Women leaders and ancestors runs deep within my warrior veins, alongside the long blood line of resilience in our women.
“As a boxer, I put my heart and spirit into using the ‘medicine’ given to me by the CREATOR through the art of battle in that squared circle. Fighting has turned into a ceremony, ‘my prayer’ representing ALL NATIONS, doing what we Indigenous people have done for centuries — fight and survive. I walk with one Pucker Toe Moccasin and one boxing boot every step of the way.”
According to the IFC press office, Catch the Fair One “follows Kaylee ‘K.O.’ Uppashaw (Reis), an Indigenous former boxer, when she discovers that her missing sister is possibly alive and circulating in a trafficking network. She plugs herself into this dark and dangerous world to find her. Kaylee’s strength and determination are tested as she fights the real fight of her life — to find her sister and make her family whole again.”
“Catch the Fair One plays like a beautifully-crafted thriller,” said Arianna Bocco, President of IFC Films, “while shining much needed light on a sadly prevalent issue in North America — the trafficking of Indigenous women — and we were absolutely floored by Josef Kubota Wladyka’s handling of such emotional subject matter. We’re so glad we have the opportunity to usher in a new talent to the IFC family with Wladyka, and the raw and brutally powerful performance from newcomer Kali Reis, and to continue working with this amazing producing team.”
Here is the official trailer for Catch the Fair One.