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11 May 2023, London, UK - Letitia Wright (MARVEL STUDIOS’ BLACK PANTHER WAKANDA FOREVER, AISHA, THE SILENT TWINS) will step into the ring with the film IN THE SHADOWS, based on the inspirational true story of Ramla Ali, the first Somali British professional boxing champion.


Altitude Film Sales will introduce IN THE SHADOWS to buyers on the Croisette this month.  Altitude will release the film in the UK & Ireland in 2024.


Triple BAFTA-winner and Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Anthony Wonke (DETTORI, SYRIA: CHILDREN ON THE FRONTLINE, RONALDO) will direct from a script by Ursula Rani Sarma (BODKIN, ROBOT AND SCARECROW). Multi-award-winning cinematographer Sean Bobbitt (12 YEARS A SLAVE, JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, SHAME) is also on board to lens. The script was initially developed with Film4.


BAFTA-winner and Oscar Nominated producer Lee Magiday (THE FAVOURITE, THE LOBSTER) of Sleeper Films, and Madeleine Sanderson (DESTINY ON THE MAIN STAGE, BEING AP) of Curate Films will produce alongside BAFTA-winner and Emmy Nominated star, Letitia Wright and her 3.16 Productions (SURROUNDED). 


IN THE SHADOWS tells the compelling true story of Ramla Ali who fled Somalia with her family as a young girl, seeking asylum in London from the Civil war. As a teenager, she pursued her love of boxing, but did so secretly as she knew her family would disapprove. Ali’s determination to win led her to the England Novice National Championship, the Elite National Championships and the Great British Championships. Ali became the first boxer, male or female, to represent Somalia at the 2020 Olympic Games and made history after winning the first ever professional female boxing match in Saudi Arabia. Ali won her first professional IBF intercontinental title at Superbantam weight this year at Madison Square Gardens and was named by Time magazine as one of its 2023 Women of the Year. 


Ali commented “Our personalities & journeys, although in different fields, are strangely similar. Talent aside, because we all know how special she is, Letitia is a woman of great ethics & integrity and knowing that she will be playing me in the movie is a dream come true. There is no other soul on this earth that would do the film justice like Letitia will.”


Wright added “It’s an incredible honour to portray Ramla. Not only is she an incredible woman of strength, dedication and perseverance, but her journey will impact many lives & I’m excited for audiences to experience her story.” 


Wonke added “I’m absolutely thrilled Letitia will be playing Ramla in our film; she is one of the most exciting, dynamic and versatile actors working in the industry today. Ramla’s story is as universal as it is exceptional and speaks to the countless people whose choices in life are compromised. Like kindred spirits, Letitia and Ramla have found an instant connection and I’m excited to be part of capturing Letitia’s insightful performance of Ramla’s incredible spirit.


Sarma added “It has been a complete privilege and an honour both getting to know Ramla and writing about her incredible life. She is a heroine for our times; strong, brave, determined and full of empathy and humanity. I believe her story will be a tremendous source of inspiration for so many young girls around the world to follow their dreams no matter what obstacles lie in their way. Having Letitia play Ramla is the icing on the cake and a complete dream come true. She truly embodies Ramla’s spirit and I know she will breathe life into her journey as only she can.”


Letitia Wright is represented by Jason Sloane & Harris Hartman of Sloane Offer Weber & Dern LLP.


Anthony Wonke is represented by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Limited. Ursula Rani Sarma is represented by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Limited and Artists First.


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David Bartholomew, Head of International Marketing & Publicity, Altitude Film Sales


Mark Jones, Head of Publicity, Altitude Film Entertainment 



Altitude Media Group is the independent UK based studio launched in 2012 by chairman Will Clarke and joint-CEO Andy Mayson. The group comprises of Altitude Film Production, Altitude Film Sales with Managing Director Mike Runagall, Altitude Film Distribution with Managing Director Lia Devlin, Altitude Factual and Altitude Television.  Since 2020, US based investment group 30WEST have held a significant minority stake in the group.


Altitude Film Sales’ Cannes slate includes IN THE SHADOWS, the inspirational true story of Ramla Ali, the first British female Muslim boxing champion, starring Letitia Wright; PLEASE DON’T FEED THE CHILDREN, the debut feature film from Destry Allyn Spielberg; high concept survival thriller, NO WAY UP; sci-fi thriller, T.I.M. starring Georgina Campbell; Gonzalo López-Gallego’s thriller AMERICAN STAR starring Ian McShane; Barnaby Thompson’s feature doc, MAD ABOUT THE BOY chronicling the life of English playwright, Noël Coward; survival thriller, OUT COME THE WOLVES from director Adam MacDonald; original horror-comedy, HELL OF A SUMMER, written, directed by and starring Finn Wolfhard and Billy Bryk; true-crime docu-drama, SPEEDWAY about the notorious 40-year-old unsolved ‘Burger Chef’ murders; James Erskine’s genre-busting doc, THE FLIGHT OF BRYAN; and sci-fi thriller, THE OCCUPANT starring Ella Balinska.


Since launching in 2013 Altitude Film Distribution have proudly supported talented filmmakers and given their films the dynamic and bold releases they deserve.


To date Altitude have championed over 170 films, ranging from the Academy and BAFTA award-winners, MOONLIGHT, ROCKS, MINARI, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, AMY, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO through to critically acclaimed THE FLORIDA PROJECT, DIEGO MARADONA, LADY MACBETH, BEAST, THE RIDER, LES MISÉRABLES, WHITNEY and more.


Altitude’s recent releases include Georgia Oakley’s acclaimed and powerful BIFA-winning and BAFTA nominated debut BLUE JEAN , BAFTA and Academy Award-nominee and Venice Golden Lion winner ALL THE BEAUTY AND THE BLOODSHED from Academy Award-winning director Laura Poitras, KURT VONNEGUT: UNSTUCK IN TIME from acclaimed director Bob Weide, Clio Barnard’s BIFA award-winning ALI & AVA, Palme D’Or winner TITANE from writer and director Julia Ducournau, HORRIBLE HISTORIES: THE MOVIE – ROTTEN ROMANS, Jonah Hill’s MID90S and Brian Welsh’s BEATS.  In 2020 Altitude partnered with the WWF on the global event release of DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET, which became the widest ever released documentary in the UK and Ireland.

Forthcoming releases include, MAD ABOUT THE BOY – THE NOËL COWARD STORY from writer and director Barnaby Thompson, TALK TO ME, the debut feature and Sundance horror hit from filmmaking duo RackaRacka, BUTCHER’S CROSSING starring Nicolas Cage and Fred Hechinger and the yet to be titled feature documentary on iconic British filmmaking duo Powell & Pressburger narrated by Martin Scorsese and directed by David Hinton.






LONDON, 23 NOVEMBER 2021: Lee Magiday (The Favourite, The Lobster), Rory Gilmartin (Herself, Frank of Ireland) and Wilf Varvill have joined forces in a significant ramping up of the company’s activities backed by MediaNet Partners and Sampsonic Media, it was announced today.     


With offices in London and Dublin, and bringing together their years of industry experience and key talent relationships under Lee Magiday’s Sleeper Films banner, the new partners have an advanced development slate of projects, focusing on internationally driven, impactful and singular story-telling across film and television.          


New to announce is supernatural thriller Corballymore House, a returnable television series which is being co-produced with Ben Grass of Pure Grass Films. Declan De Barra (Netflix’s The Witcher-Blood Origin and The Witcher, Stephen King’s Chapelwaite for FX) will showrun, with Diane Ademu-John (HBO MAX’s Dune prequel, Dune - The Sisterhood, The Haunting of Bly Manor) onboard as Creative Consultant and EP. Created by De Barra and inspired by stories from his own family history, Corballymore House is set just prior to the First World War and follows the Doyle family as they inherit a remote manor house while recovering from the loss of their baby and failed business. Setting out with renewed hope to heal and restore their fortunes, they realise their previous troubles are nothing compared to what lies in wait for them at Corballymore. The series is currently being readied to pitch to select buyers.


As previously announced, Sleeper Films are also developing feature film In the Shadows with Film4 about the UK-Somalian women’s boxing phenomenon Ramla Ali, to be directed by Anthony Wonke and in partnership with Curate Films, and mystery thriller series The Ruín, an adaptation of Dervla McTiernan’s novel of the same name. In development with Screen Ireland, Sleeper are producing with Colin Farrell and Claudine Farrell of Chapel Place Productions, Troy Lum and Andrew Mason at Brouhaha and Sophie Gardiner at Chapter One.


“We’re delighted to be partnering with MediaNet and Sampsonic Media as we move forward into this exciting new period of growth for Sleeper. Our new partners share our passion for compelling story-telling from distinctive talent – stories that have something unique to say about the human condition; stories that can push boundaries and genres.” said Lee Magiday, Rory Gilmartin and Wilf Varvill.


Lee Magiday has over 30 years’ experience in the entertainment industry. Prior to founding Sleeper Films, she was a producer on Yorgos Lanthimos’ multi-award winning and critically acclaimed The Favourite, for which she won a BAFTA for Outstanding British Film. She also produced Lanthimos’ multi-award winning The Lobster starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz which won the Jury Prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival and was Associate Producer on Irish box-office-hit The Guard starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle. Lee previously worked in house at various studios and production companies including heading up Focus Features’ European offices as VP Acquisitions & Production and Director of Acquisitions at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and Universal Pictures International.


Rory Gilmartin also brings over 30 years industry experience to Sleeper. As an independent producer, he most recently produced Channel 4/Amazon Studios’ Frank of Ireland for Merman, created by and starring Domhnall Gleeson and Brian Gleeson. He was previously in-house producer at Element Pictures where his feature film credits included Phyllida Lloyd’s Herself, four-time BAFTA nominated Calm with Horses, and Rosie. His other positions have included Project Manager at Screen Ireland where he was an executive producer on over 30 films including The Lobster and Brooklyn, and Head of Development at Independent Talent’s Brilliant Films and Impact Pictures.


Wilf has worked at a leading film and TV completion guarantor where he was closely involved with the financial and legal closing of over 50 projects with budgets ranging from £1.5m to £45m including Lars von Trier’s The House that Jack Built, Jason Howden’s Guns Akimbo and David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake. Prior to this, he worked in acquisitions at Focus Features and Universal Pictures International and produced award-winning shorts including Londongrad.


Notes to editors:



MediaNet Partners is a private asset management firm that operates mainly in Latin America. It is focused on investing in companies with distinctive talent in the media and entertainment industry. Its portfolio of companies includes film & TV production companies, film studio facilities, music rights and service companies, digital advertising, sports, and e-sports. Its interests include AGC Studios, Ray Pictures, El Estudio, iGeneration Studios and Lantica Media, which operates Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios.



Led by Nicolas D. Sampson and Arno Hazebroek, Sampsonic Media executive produced the family drama Hope Gap, written and directed by William Nicholson, and starring Annette Bening, Bill Nighy and Josh O’Connor; the music photography and Grierson Award-winning documentary Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall; the period-romance Vita & Virginia, starring Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki; and the WWII drama Adventures of a Mathematician, starring Esther Garrel and Joel Basman. Other projects include the feature film Behind The Mirror, which won Best Thriller at the Manhattan Film Festival and was released through The Orchard; and the documentary Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time on the iconic author Kurt Vonnegut, for which Sampsonic Media raised finance.


For more information, please contact:

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