About this project
We all did it! So, can we use more? To be honest, even though there are only 2 days left, we could always use a bit more.
So we're announcing a stretch goal of $80,000.
We "lose" about 5% of the total amount pledged as fees to Kickstarter and their payment partners. We also anticipate putting about 3% toward fulfilling rewards. So, a little more won't hurt. If for some crazy reason we get a huge influx, we'll be able to put that towards our festival premiere and the associated expenses, like PR.
Oh, if you haven't already seen, we were featured in Men's Health! Click here to read.
We embedded with amazing indigenous ultra-runners to bring you a cinematic expression of why we all love to run. We travelled to the highlands of Japan, the Kalahari Desert in Africa, the Navajo Nation in Arizona, the forests of Finland and the streets of NYC (the famed Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Run) to capture the esoteric, spiritual side of running.
We shot the film in narrative (non-fiction) style and weave our stories together in such a natural way that we're sure this film will be unlike any sports documentary ever made.
We've completed all filming and need your help to finish editing the film, doing a sound mix, composing music and doing color correction.
Like many runners, we were inspired by the 2009 book Born to Run. But we wanted to hear even more about the deepest spiritual traditions of exceptional indigenous runners from around the world. We wondered if we could, first of all, find runners that actually embodied the ancient esoteric approach to running and then earn their trust.
But first ... a 3100 Mile Race??
The most elusive, elite multi-day race in the world, the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, takes place in Queens, New York City each summer and demands at least 59 miles a day for 52 straight days.
We followed Ashprihanal Aalto, a diminutive Finnish paperboy and a 13 time (!) finisher of this colossal race as he returned for a record 14th attempt. We also follow Shamita Achenbach-Konig, an Austrian cellist as she attempts the Race for the first time.
While the participants of that Race are for the most part Western, the Race was founded by the Indian spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy. In a sense, the Race requires runners to tap into an ancient energy found in the most remote cultures of the world. We build the arc of the entire film around this race and bounce between remote, expedition-worthy locations to draw parallels between the approaches to running.
Monks, Navajo & Bushmen - Oh My!
Cameras in hand, we set off on a global exploration of running.
- We hunted on the run with the Bushmen of Botswana. Hunting was recently banned by the Botswana Government as one step in their attempt to destroy this ancient culture. We met a group of Bushmen hunters defying that ban who wanted us to film their ancestral way of hunting.
- We ran with champion Navajo runners versed by their Elders in the spiritual traditions of running. Shaun Martin, a Navajo educator, was attempting to retrace the footsteps of his father, who like many Native American kids was forced into government boarding school. Shaun's dad would routinely escape and walk the 100 miles back to his family's homesite. Shaun was attempting to do that distance in one shot.
- And we embedded with the Japanese Marathon Monks to document their epic 1,000 day running journey where the stakes are literally life or death. Once a generation they pick an Aspirant to do 1000 days over 7 years, in 100 day chunks - up to 56 miles per day. If the Aspirant fails to complete his/her daily mileage requirement, he/she must commit suicide (!). Thankfully this hasn't happened in 100s of years.
Getting access was not easy by any means. But we approached with enough humility to win over folks, some of whom had never allowed outsiders to film their core spiritual traditions. And to our delight and surprise, the stories started to overlap in absolutely amazing ways.
Our characters and our team risked much (in some cases their very lives) to bring you this film. We’ve completed production and have started editing. We need your help to complete our edit and share the film with runners everywhere.
Will the film change the world? We don’t know. Will it change the viewers? Can’t say for sure. Has it changed us? Yes – it most certainly has. And that transformative experience we’ve had as filmmakers and runners is exactly what we want to bring to you. We’ve all run millions of steps in our lifetimes. We’re asking for your help in taking this next big step together.
Risks and challenges
We've completed the hardest and most expensive part - filming all the stories all around the world. And we've raised enough money to start our edit. Every project comes with risks, but since we're closer to the finish line than most, we feel ours has less risk.
Of course, anything can happen. But we aim to complete this film no matter what. We are planning on being able to finish by late summer and we don't foresee any delays but, frankly, no ambitious creator ever does. We hope to deliver rewards on schedule and don't anticipate any issues, but we all know what life can be like!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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