KOPAL GOYAL’S WILD WOMEN PG
Documentary filmmaker Kopal Goyal is proving she is as solid and steady as the rocks she climbs
KKopal Goyal believes nothing is impossible. At 24, she began training in rock climbing against concerns that it was too late for her to physically learn the discipline. Much to the dismay of her parents, she quit her desk job as an editor with Network 18 and began teaching yoga to pursue her passion. Pooling in her savings and with some financial support from a few family members and a travel company, Goyal, a selftaught filmmaker, has made a documentary on women, who, like her, are driven towards adventure sports.
The result is Project Wild Women which follows 14 professional athletes and rookie practitioners from sports such as skateboarding, surfing, downhill mountain biking, free ride mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing, ice climbing, longboarding, paragliding, kayaking and slacklining. After winning an award for best documentary at the Kenya International Sports Film Festival in November 2019, the film will screen at the Galil Adventure Film Festival in Israel in February.
Born in Bihar and with educational stints in Ranchi and Delhi, Goyal was estranged from her Marwari family for two years. They didn’t understand how their daughter could make ends meet with an adventure sport. Under tremendous familial and financial pressure, Goyal says she battled an eating and sleeping disorder for eight months. “Rock climbing saved me,” says Goyal. “The way I was struggling to keep my passion alive, I wanted to look at other women who were in the same predicament as me.” Goyal has directed and edited the film and shot a chunk of it too.
Currently based in Nashik, the 27-year-old has also dabbled in ice climbing and long boarding. She has also just started taking lessons in parkour. Through the daredevilry on display in Project Wild Women, Goyal hopes people realise that like her, they too “can start at any age and succeed”. After two years of borrowing climbing gear from others, Goyal has finally been able to afford her own. There really ain’t no mountain high enough for her. ■
WITH THIS FILM, KOPAL GOYAL HOPES THAT WOMEN WILL SEE THAT THEY CAN START AT ANY AGE AND SUCCEED