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Town of Runners


World Premiere

U.K. | 86 MINUTES | Amharic, Oromo |


Sports, Documentary
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.


This film is appropriate for teenagers and up.


Directed by Jerry Rothwell

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.
Dan Demissie, Al Morrow
Director of Photography
Jerry Rothwell
Primary Cast
Sentayehu Eshetu, Hawii Megersa, Alemi Tsegaye, Biruk Fikadu
Sound Recordist
Rob Branch
Alan Mackay
Vincent Watts, Mulatu Astatke
Executive Producer
Kristin Olafsdottir, Jonny Persey
Jerry Rothwell
Ethiopian Production Coordinator
Samuel Tesfaye
Stewart le Marechal


Ana Viceate
Sales Agent
Ana Vicente
Unit 211, Hatton Square Business Centre, 16 Baldwins Gardens London, EC1N 7RJ
Phone: +44.793.738.4472
Director's Agent
Matthew Bates
Sayle Screen
11 Jubilee Place London, SW3 3TD
Phone: 0044207 823 3883
Sales Agent
Vesna Cudic
Unit 211, Hatton Square Business Centre, 16-16a Baldwins Gardens London, EC1N 7RJ
Phone: 00442078317252
Al Morrow
Met Film Production
Ealing Studios, Ealing Green London, W5 5EP
Phone: 00442082809117
Jerry Rothwell
APT Films
Ealing Studios Ealing Green London, W5 5EP
Phone: +44 208 280 9125
Sales Agent
Oli Harbottle
Studio 311 Panther House London, WC1X0-AN
Print Return
Stewart Le Marechal
Met Film Production
Ealing Studios, Ealing Green London, W5 5EP
Phone: 0044 20 8280 9126