A chance to be an active participant in growing the running revolution in India
Has running come of age in India? If recent events and the sheer visibility of runners at our parks and roads are any indication, then the answer to that is a resounding ‘yes’. Both as a sport and as a lifestyle, running has gained a foothold in the consciousness of the average Indian.
Two steps forward, one step back. As with any revolutionary movement, there are hiccups which need to be worked out. And that is precisely what IART (India Amateur Runners Trust) aims to do with the production of their pioneering running movie venture in cooperation with Curley Street Media and In The Brilliant White.
What is this running movie about?
This movie is intended to be a testament to the power that running brings into our lives. It will bring to life several inspiring stories of amateur runners who have found strength and solace during difficult times of their lives through the medium of running.
The movie showcases how everyone’s life is a series of highs and lows. We are all battling demons on many fronts – personal, health, professional, financial, physical or mental – however real or fictional they may be. And a way to battle these demons is to, simply, run.
What is the vision behind the project?
India Amateur Runners Trust (IART) is a not-for-profit venture with the mandate to grow and improve our running space. While the growth has been healthy, the brains behind the venture believe there are far too many passive observers with feeble reasons for not taking up this healthy activity when so many fellow humans are bravely facing the same.
The movie project hopes to put forward the inspirational stories to the general population in order to motivate them to overcome their own obstacles and join the running movement, and in the process live a better life. The choice to make a movie was to leverage the huge reach that the film medium permits, and to reach out to a wider and deeper audience with their message.
IART has other initiatives too, and its ‘Runners-Help-Runners’ program helps the less privileged adult runners through a support system of training, equipping and absorbing their race related expenses.
Who are involved in the making of the movie?
There are five parties involved in making this revolutionary movie a reality, namely –
1. India Amateur Runners Trust (principle producer)
2. In the Brilliant White (co-producers)
3. Curley Street Media (co-producers)
4. Catalyst Sports & Wellness (advisors)
5. The kind patrons (runners and friends of runners)
In the actual movie, there are two sets of cast. One set are select amateur runners who have gained from their passion for running to overcome painful issues like cancer, blindness, obesity, smoking, loss of a child and hip replacement.
Excerpts from some of the inspiring stories
Story 1 from NCR: She was only 27 when she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis which required strong doses of steroids but resulted in severe weight gain, high BP and diabetes, with a walking stick as her constant companion. She battled against these odds for 8 long years and just when the worst seemed over, a granuloma appeared in her vocal cord and a world of silence appeared imminent.
This brave lady hung on to life and at 40 she took up running to strengthen her neck and chest muscles. The return was gradual but in her new passion for running she had finally found an outlet that not only improved her physical health but also made her emotionally and mentally stronger. Now, as she trains and participates in running race, she feels she is running free from her demons.
Story 2 from Bangalore: He is in his late 20s but a major part of his life has been spent in the dark. His growing blindness was detected at an early age but the specialists were of not much help. Throughout his childhood there was a simmering anger at how unfair life was. Later he started to lead a more active life with long walks and some easy running as he still had enough eyesight to manage these activities.
A few years ago, he lost a major part of his remaining sight and went into a deep depression which took years to come out of. He sought recourse to his passion for running in order to hold on to some sense of sanity, and this training with the help of the touch and sounds of fellow running mates taught him patience, team work, concentration and trust.
2013 was an exceptionally hard period as he lost complete sight in his right eye, and his left eye is fading fast. Only his passion for running holds him strong and he has actually completed a half marathon.
Story 3 from Mumbai: She is only 33, a single mother with a lovely autistic son. While most people throw in the towel and curse what life has given them, this young lady maintains a brave face and is seen smiling more often than not. Everyone sees her as a winner in life, and in her running as well, where she frequently manages to amaze her friends with timings that put most runners to shame. The other 4-5 stories are equally inspiring and some will bring you to tears.
Another set of participants airing their views in this movie will be expert runners from across India who have contributed towards the evolution of our running space and are highly respected by their peers. In addition, the producers realize that it is important to show footage from running races across India as well as show groups of runners in popular running locales.
Where will the movie be shot?
This movie will be the first full-length movie on the subject of running made in India, and it will be shot across Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Pondicherry, with some participants from other Indian cities being flown in to share their stories.
How will the movie be shown to viewers?
Given the stated objectives to leverage this movie to get more persons into our running space, the producers will resort to various means like organizing a nationwide viewing on an online portal, arrange for DVDs to be made available, showcase the movie at running forums and explore viewing at select cinemas. And they will also be submitting this movie to various festivals, both national and international.
How are the producers raising funds for the movie production?
Crowd-funding. The producers are seeking contributions from runners and friends of runners to convert this wonderful initiative into a reality. The movie is budgeted at Rs. 20 lakh and they are halfway towards raising these funds. They are confident that as many more runners and kind souls see the movie promo and articles in the press, they will come forward and help bridge this gap.
The India Amateur Runners Trust have managed to keep the production cost low by having each of their partners – Curley Street Media, In the Brilliant White and Catalyst Sports – provide their expertise at far below market rates as their partners share in the goodness of the cause.
How was the response to the story search given its sensitive nature?
The producers found most runners to be forthcoming with their stories as they recognized the potential the film medium permits to get the core message to thousands of others.
By when do they aim to complete the movie?
The movie is targeted to be released mid-2014.
Would they be sending it to be screened at various running events?
Yes, they would seek the cooperation of running groups, runners and race organizers to air this movie at their Expo and other ways, and so spread its message to as many corners as possible.
How can readers contribute towards making this inspiring movie become a reality?
The producers are currently facing a shortfall of Rs. 10 lakh, and invite readers to join them as a patron by making a contribution ranging from Rs. 5,000 – 25,000 – 50,000 – Rs. 1 lakh. They will provide you with a credit in the movie – unless specifically not sought – and a DVD copy.
Contributions may be drawn in favour of:
Bank: CORPORATION BANK, Domlur Branch, Bangalore
Current Account No: 063600101015145 (for RTGS/NEFT/ECS)
IFSC Code: CORP0000636
MICR Code: 56001703
Remember, we have a chance to join the running revolution in India, and a contribution towards the making of this movie may well be the first step in that regard.