CATCH THE FAIR ONE - - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Monday, June 14, 2021


Writer/Director/Producer: Josef Kubota Wladyka

2021 Tribeca Film Festival Cocktail Reception
At Nearly Ninth In Arlo Midtown Hosted By Peroni

A former boxer embarks on the fight of her life when she goes in search of her missing sister. Catch the Fair One is a taut thriller and second feature for Tribeca “Best New Narrative Director” winner, Josef Kubota Wladyka, and a star-making debut for a professional boxer, Kali Reis. Kali is the first Native American fighter to win the International Boxing Association middleweight crown and she fought in the first female boxing match ever televised on HBO.

TRT: 85 minutes | Camera: Arri Alexa XT | USA |



My given name "Mequinonoag'' means "Many Feathers, Many Talents" in our Algonquian dialect. 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 run deep within my warrior's veins, alongside the long bloodline 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. Being a woman in a male-dominated sport has its struggles. As a mixed Indigenous, Wampanoag, Cape Verdean, two-spirited Woman, adversity is ALWAYS present, and this racial/cultural dynamic is largely underrepresented. I've found motivation in being the so-called underdog since birth, constantly fighting for something or having to accept and defend who I am. Not “Native” enough, not “Black” enough, too masculine, too feminine, etc. 

In the words of the great and talented artist J. Cole, “There's beauty in the struggle.” Director Josef Kubota Wladyka saw this in me. 

What started as a message on social media has turned into a friendship to last a lifetime, with such a talented, passionate and amazing individual. We immediately connected on so many levels, but most importantly, being of mixed race and the struggles we both experienced.

I've had the incredible opportunity to explore my goals outside of boxing and test myself when I was given the amazing opportunity to collaborate with Josef on the story of Catch The Fair One. Josef and I worked closely together from the start as co-creators of Kaylee and her world.  

Josef and I created the story and the characters, but we also collaborated on everything from casting options to locations, even down to which colors are represented in the film. We are very proud of what our voices have manifested, and I can’t wait to share our film with the world. The choices we made regarding themes were especially thought out. I wanted our film to represent parts of the dark reality of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic.

Our voices WILL be heard; our women are stolen but not forgotten. WE ARE STILL HERE and as Native/Indigenous people we WILL be represented respectfully and not be addressed as "something else".


-Kali KO Mequinonaog Reis, The Peoples CHAMP!

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