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FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

MARATHON BOY

TFF 2011 Directed by Gemma Atwal
FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE MARATHON BOY [TFF 2011]

Gemma Atwal's dynamic epic follows four-year-old Budhia, rescued from poverty by Biranchi Das, a larger-than-life judo coach and operator of an orphanage for slum children in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. When Budhia displays an uncommon talent for long-distance running, Biranchi nurtures his gift, heralding him as a folk hero for the impoverished masses, and maybe even for India itself. But after golden child Budhia breaks down during a world-record 65 kilometer run at the age of four, public opinion begins to turn on the guru and his disciple, and soon the two are swept up in a maelstrom of media controversy and political scandal.

Following Budhia's roller-coaster journey over five years, Marathon Boy is a Dickensian tale of greed, corruption, and broken dreams set between the heart-racing world of marathon running, the poverty-stricken slums, and the political intrigue of a modernizing India. Nothing is what it seems in Budhia and Biranchi's riveting story, and Atwal continually shifts viewer identification to tell both a shocking story of opportunism and exploitation, but also a touching portrait of an authentic bond between a parent and child.

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Interests
Female Director(s), Sports, Documentary

Gemma Atwal's dynamic epic follows four-year-old Budhia, rescued from poverty by Biranchi Das, a larger-than-life judo coach and operator of an orphanage for slum children in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. When Budhia displays an uncommon talent for long-distance running, Biranchi nurtures his gift, heralding him as a folk hero for the impoverished masses, and maybe even for India itself. But after golden child Budhia breaks down during a world-record 65 kilometer run at the age of four, public opinion begins to turn on the guru and his disciple, and soon the two are swept up in a maelstrom of media controversy and political scandal.

Following Budhia's roller-coaster journey over five years, Marathon Boy is a Dickensian tale of greed, corruption, and broken dreams set between the heart-racing world of marathon running, the poverty-stricken slums, and the political intrigue of a modernizing India. Nothing is what it seems in Budhia and Biranchi's riveting story, and Atwal continually shifts viewer identification to tell both a shocking story of opportunism and exploitation, but also a touching portrait of an authentic bond between a parent and child.

Film Information
Year: 2010
Length: 98 minutes
Language: Oriya, Hindi, English
Country: USA, U.K., India
Premiere: North American
Cast & Credits
Primary Cast: Budhia Singh, Biranchi Das
Director: Gemma Atwal
Producer: Gemma Atwal, Matt Norman
Editor: Peter Haddon
Executive Producer: Alan Hayling, Sheila Nevins
Composer: Garry Hughes
Animation: Ben Foley
Contacts

Press Contact
Sheri Goldberg
ID PR
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212 334 0333
sgoldberg@id-pr.com

Director
Gemma Atwal
One Horse Town Productions
Bristol, Avon BS6 7QQ
Phone: +44 7870 0 603926
blankcanvas@blueyonder.co.uk

Sales Contact
Patrick Roberts
DRG
London, W1F 0BJ Phone: +44 207 494 5814
p.roberts@drg.tv

Producer
Matt Norman
One Horse Town Productions
Bristol, Avon BS6 7QQ
Phone: +44 7976 (0) 247652
blankcanvasfilms@blueyonder.co.uk

Press Contact
Sheri Goldberg
ID PR
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212 334 0333
sgoldberg@id-pr.com

Director
Gemma Atwal
One Horse Town Productions
Bristol, Avon BS6 7QQ
Phone: +44 7870 0 603926
blankcanvas@blueyonder.co.uk

Sales Contact
Patrick Roberts
DRG
London, W1F 0BJ Phone: +44 207 494 5814
p.roberts@drg.tv

Producer
Matt Norman
One Horse Town Productions
Bristol, Avon BS6 7QQ
Phone: +44 7976 (0) 247652
blankcanvasfilms@blueyonder.co.uk

About the Director(s)
GEMMA ATWAL worked as a freelance director and producer on a variety of UK television documentaries. She spent three years working as a development producer for independent UK production houses. She has also worked as a business journalist for the Madrid-based NOA Media Group in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe.

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