Town of Runners (Town of Runners)
Contemporary World Cinema - Doha Tribecca Film Festival 2012
Bejoki. A small, impoverished town in the southern highlands of Ethiopia. Not, perhaps, the environment one first thinks of when imagining the training ground for some of the world’s best long-distance runners. Yet athletes from Bejoki, all of them trained by one Sentayehu Eshetu, took all four gold medals for long-course track events at the Beijing Olympics. Coach Sentayehu, whose efforts have brought the world great athletes like Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele, has 243 would-be medallists under his strict training regime – no alcohol, no boyfriends, no girlfriends. ‘Town of Runners’ focuses on Alemi Tsegaye and Hawli Megersa, two championship hopefuls, as they move away from their families and all that is familiar in their quest for athletic excellence – and a better life than the one they leave behind. Ethiopia took seven medals at the London Olympics; perhaps not surprising when they have this kind of inspiration behind them.
About the Director
Born in 1962, Jerry Rothwell is a documentary filmmaker who helped found the UK Film Council’s First Light programme for young filmmakers. Documentaries include ‘Deep Water’ (2006), which won the Grierson Award in Edinburgh; ‘Heavy Load’ (2008), winner of the Audience Award at Britdoc; and ‘Donor Unknown’ (2010), which won Best Feature at the Tribeca Online Festival and the Audience Award at Silverdocs.
- Jerry Rothwell
- Al Morrow, Dan Demissie
- Alan Mackay
- Vincent Watts, Mulatu Astatke
- Jerry Rothwell
- Coach Sentayehu Eshetu, Hawii Megersa, Alemi Tsegaye, Biruk Fikadu