Town of Runners

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UK release date: April 20th, 2012


The world’s best long-distance runners hail from one small town in Ethiopia. See how they do it!

Long distance running is a way of life in the Arsi region of Ethiopia. In a country long associated with poverty, famine and war, world-record-beating athletes are the source of pride. Many of the world’s greatest runners hail from Bekoji, a remote town in the southern Highlands. In the Beijing Olympics, runners from the Bekoji won all four gold medals in the long distance track events - more medals than most industrial countries.

TOWN OF RUNNERS is a feature documentary by an award-winning director Jerry Rothwell (Donor Unknown, Heavy Load) about the young athletes born and raised in Bekoji, who hope to emulate their local heroes and compete on the world’s stage. Filmed over four years, the film follows their fortunes as they move from school track to national competition and from childhood to adulthood.

For more information on the Outreach Programme associated with Town of Runners, visit


Tribeca Film Festival, USA - WORLD PREMIERE
Docville IFF, Belgium - EU PREMIERE
Little Rock Film Festival, USA
Sheffield Doc/Fest, UK
EBS International Documentary Film Festival, South Korea
Sanfic 8, Chile
Bolder Life Festival, CO, USA
1001 International Documentary Festival Istanbul, Turkey
ATLANT IX International FICTS Festival, Lipetsk, Russia
INPUT 2012 Hilversum, Netherlands
Anthropological Film Festival Jerusalem, Israel
The Doha Tribeca Film Festival, Qatar
BCN Sports Film Festival, Barcelona


Audience Choice Award Best Documentary, Bolder Life Festival
Atlant Festival, Lipetsk - 1st Place Award for Adherence to Olympic Ideals
Award for the Best Report, BCN Sports Film Festival


The Guardian:The Ethiopian town that's home to the world's greatest runners

Total Film Review

The Arts Desk Review

Financial Times Review

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