I AM BONNIE

By Sourabh DUTTA, Farha KHATUN, Satarupa SANTRA

FILMS DIVISION, INDIA - as CONS

First film - Completed 2015

This is the story of Bonnie Paul f.k.a. known as Bandana Paul, a born inter-sex, an ace footballer and his struggle to live with dignity in this sarcastic, hypocritical and exploitative society.

Festivals
& Awards

BFI Flare 2016
Minds - Features
    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • First film, Documentary, Drama
    • Countries
    • INDIA
    • Languages
    • BENGALI
    • Budget
    • 10 - 25 M$
    • Duration
    • 45 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Sourabh DUTTA, Farha KHATUN, Satarupa SANTRA
    • Writer(s)
    • Sourabh DUTTA
    • Producer(s)
    • V. packirisamy PILLAI (Films Division, India)
    • Synopsis
    • I am Bonnie/45 min./HD/Colour/India
      Bonnie(33) is again on the run.
      He has been on the run from his family and sports fraternity since failing ' sex test' right before the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998. A born intersex, raised by poor, illiterate and confused parents as a female child named 'Bandana ', s/he went on to become one of the finest strikers in Indian woman' s football in her/his short career.
      After failing sex test, media accused her/him of cheating. Officials forgot her/him soon. Friends disappeared. Her/his career was over.
      Bandana decided to undergo Sex Re-assignment Surgery (SRS) and became a male-'Bonnie'. But his family disowned him and he left home in 2000.
      He moved to a small town, Krishnanagar - 80 km. up north from home and took up idol making as profession. It’s a seasonal profession and difficult to live of it. There in 2006, he met Swati(24), a poor girl working as a maid in order to support her family. They fell in love, got married but could not live there fearing social backlash and had to move again to Matigara, a suburb near Siliguri, about 530km. further north from Home in 2009.
      He did all kind of odd jobs to make ends meet. Swati' s love was his greatest support. But they rued for not being accepted by his family.
      In 2012, civic authorities of Siliguri started an under-14 football camp and appointed Bonnie as coach. It was a small job, yet a huge opportunity for him to come back to football ground with honour.
      As Durga Puja, the biggest festival in this region was approaching, he got forced by local club members to make big pandal and idols beyond his capability. He had to take huge loans from private lenders at fat interest to make delivery on time. But this club ditched him by not paying the contract amount on time even though kept on threatening him. At the same time, although it’s been more than eight months that Bonnie started coaching, even the sports management of the football camp did not pay a penny till now! Bonnie became loan defaulter very soon.
      Not being able to withstand the humiliation and veiled threat from local goons, he flew with his wife before completing his job and went hiding. We, filmmakers, went to Matigara to look for him. People, barring a few, accused him of cheating.
      Few months later, we managed to find them in Darjeeling, a hill town 590 km. further up north from home where he and Swati work in a small hotel now. He told us his side of the story.
      Again on the run, he has to start afresh - in a new place.
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