http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-background.jpg
  • Follow young runners training from the Ethiopian rural town of Bekoji.

    Follow young runners training from the Ethiopian rural town of Bekoji.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-trailer.jpgmp4:town_of_runners-trailer-1024.mov
  • One filmmaker finds his roots while filming an Ethiopian story.

    One filmmaker finds his roots while filming an Ethiopian story.

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-extra.jpgmp4:town_of_runners-extra-1024.mov
  • Hawii running

    Hawii running

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-01.jpg
  • Biruk, who narrates Town of Runners, standing in his kiosk

    Biruk, who narrates Town of Runners, standing in his kiosk

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-02.jpg
  • Children in Bekoji standing in line being instructed by Coach Sentayehu

    Children in Bekoji standing in line being instructed by Coach Sentayehu

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-03.jpg
  • Coach Sentayehu outside in Bekoji

    Coach Sentayehu outside in Bekoji

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-04.jpg
  • Hawii lying on bed at her running club in Woliso

    Hawii lying on bed at her running club in Woliso

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-05.jpg
  • Girl athletes  sitting outside their accomodation in Woliso running club, Ethiopia

    Girl athletes sitting outside their accomodation in Woliso running club, Ethiopia

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-06.jpg
  • Large group exercising

    Large group exercising

    http://cdn.itvs.org/town_of_runners-07.jpg

The Film

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

Town of Runners follows three children from Bekoji keen to follow in their heroes' footsteps, as they move from school track to national competition and from childhood to adulthood. Set against the background of the seasonal rhythms of this farming region, and the impact of increased urbanization and globalization on agriculture the film shows rural young Africans striving to make their own future.

The Filmmakers

  1. Jerry RothwellDirector
  2. Al MorrowProducer
  3. Daniel DemissieProducer
  4. Jonny PerseyExecutive Producer