“Would you pursue your running if it necessitated always being fully covered? Or never knowing if there was a Flasher around the corner? Or guilt pangs at leaving a needy loved one at home?
Run Sister, Run! is the new film the India Amateur Runners Trust (IART) is currently working. We spoke with Ashok Nath, a running evangelist and a Trustee of IART regarding the upcoming film.
Who are behind this innovative film initiative?
We – India Amateur Runners Trust (IART) are a not-for-profit Trust set up by runners with the purpose to grow and improve our running space.
Running is a natural activity and the sheer simplicity of the action appeals to people with otherwise cluttered lives leading to a running boom. As our running space has grown so has the players in this space – event organizers, coaches, gyms, sports brands, etc – but most are operating independently, doing their best within their specific area with a profit centric approach.
What is missing is an entity with a more strategic intent keeping the runners in mind and not influenced by profit. We walk this path.
The power of the audio visual medium cannot be underestimated. It reaches out to far greater numbers than any localized event and has the ability to influence people. The choice of making films was only natural.
How did the idea for this film come about?
Once the decision to opt for the film medium was taken, we felt that there must be some logical progression to their theme. So our initial film venture – “Two Feet to Fly” – touched upon the message of how running has helped so many to deal with issues in their lives. For our next film venture, choosing to highlight women and the obstacles they face to pursue running made imminent sense.
Do watch our promo film:
It is not an easy task for many women to step out of their comfort zones and take up running. She faces many obstacles – her own unsupportive families, society, a demanding schedule, general insecurities, discomfort with her body, fear of eve teasers to name a few. As a result, many women never follow up on their passion, or are only able to do it half heartedly. Or have to make immense sacrifice that often leaves her feeling guilty.
In the same breath, there are several success stories where she has a supportive husband and/or parents and we would like to showcase these stories as well, to highlight the difference an understanding partner can play.
We hope that getting this message out by showcasing inspiring stories will enable many more women to lace their shoes and enrich our running space.
Who is funding the film?
We have a budget of 32 lacs towards the production and marketing of this film, titled “Run Sister, Run!” for now. We are resorting to crowd-funding to get a large portion of this sum and expect many fellow runners to lend a helping hand as this cause is close to everyone’s heart. We believe that change happens when you are willing to play a role, and the initial response has been positive.
We are open to brands giving us a helping hand provided the integrity of the film isn’t compromised, and are in talks with some like minded partners in the space of footwear, fueling, timing, retail and the like.
One brand that has extended its support is Mumbai based Unived Healthcare which has been a pioneer in building high quality vegan nutritional products that cater to the demanding physiological needs of endurance athletes.
How can I contribute to this cause?
We have set a minimum contribution of rs.5000 from any one wishing to become a Patron and all are entitled to a credit mention in the film, an invite to the premiere and a personal DVD copy.
Who decides which stories are featured?
A story must be relevant and interesting, and the protagonist must be camera friendly. A panel comprising members from the Trust and the Creative Team will evaluate the stories, shortlist basis the initial criteria and then follow up to arrive at the final list for the film.
Can you give us any glimpses on the type of stories you are receiving from across India?
Very fascinating stories have been received. The young lady who needs to ensure she is properly covered up when she goes for her run in accordance with her faith. Another who was a victim of molestation many years ago and that fear still guides her dress code and mannerism when she goes for her run now. An elderly mother who can’t escape pangs of guilt when she steps out for her run as she is leaving her differently enabled son at home. The foreign lady who is slowly coming to terms with the polluted air and the occasional flashers on her local runs.
There are several positive stories as well where our heroine is able to pursue her running passion due to the support from her loving husband. Several cases of professionals and business women whose personal responsibilities are shared equally by their spouse.
Mind you these are just some stories that we have received and have yet to be screened.
When will the film debut?
We are targeting to have our film premiere in mid 2016 where initially the Patrons, Cast, Partners and Media will get an opportunity to watch it. Then a series of film viewings will be organized across India for the larger majority followed by a thrust on the festivals.
Who is producing the film?
We are working with Believe Films in the production of this film. In our search for a Production House, we wanted someone who shared in our vision and didn’t approach the project on purely commercial terms