In Bekoji, Ethiopia, running is a way of life. Over the past two decades this small, rural town has been the unlikely home to numerous Olympic champion long-distance runners, whose athletic success has paved the way for young Ethiopians searching for a better life. Among the current group training under renowned coach Sentayehu Eshetu (whose protégé Derartu Tulu was the first African woman to win Olympic gold) are Alemi and Hawii, two teenage girls looking to set themselves apart from their teammates in Bekoji and move on to compete at the national level.
Capturing the seasonal rhythms of this farming region and the gradual impact of urbanization with a keen artistic eye, TFF award winner Jerry Rothwell (Donor Unknown) follows these two young track hopefuls as they face the challenge of growing up and striving for greatness in a developing nation. The result is a lyrical portrait of Ethiopia seen through the hopes and ambitions of a generation determined to make a brighter future for themselves and their country.
Length: 86 minutes
Language: Amharic, Oromo
Director: Jerry Rothwell
Producer: Dan Demissie, Al Morrow
Editor: Alan Mackay
Director of Photography: Jerry Rothwell
Executive Producer: Kristin Olafsdottir, Jonny Persey
Composer: Vincent Watts, Mulatu Astatke
Co-Producer: Stewart le Marechal
Sound Recordist: Rob Branch
Ethiopian Production Coordinator: Samuel Tesfaye
Primary Cast: Sentayehu Eshetu, Hawii Megersa, Alemi Tsegaye, Biruk Fikadu
Jerry Rothwell directed the award-winning docs Donor Unknown (Best Online Feature at TFF 2011) about a sperm donor and his many offspring; Heavy Load, about a group of people with learning disabilities who form a punk band; and Deep Water, about an ill-fated around-the-world yacht race in 1968.
This film is appropriate for teenagers and up.