Here are words about a film project that I have been following for a couple of years. It is in production and will be a good film, I can assure you from what I have seen so far. The producers have introduced the so-called crowd funding and have collected around 3.500$. Here is a text from the site:

The Runner is the latest feature documentary from the award-winning filmmaker Saeed Taji Farouky and the team at Tourist With A Typewriter. It is intended as an 80 minute theatrical release, with a 52 minute television edit, and will premiere in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

The Runner is a film about the limits of our endurance. It tells the story of a champion long-distance runner who – in one dramatic moment – became the symbol of a national liberation movement. Salah Ameidan is a man willing to risk his career, his family, his nationality and his life to run for a country that doesn’t exist: Western Sahara, officially the last colony in Africa. Virtually unknown on the world stage, Western Sahara is an area larger than the United Kingdom and has been under Moroccan occupation since 1975.

As a talented young athlete, Salah was forced to compete for Morocco, the country occupying his homeland, since the age of 14. During that time, he and his family suffered harassment, detention, arrest and torture at the hands of Moroccan police. One day in 2003, during a race in France, he made a bold

decision that changed his life forever. As he approached the end of an 8km race, he pulled out a Sahrawi flag – illegal in Morocco as a symbol of the independence movement – and waved it across the finish line. Knowing he would never be allowed safely back home, he applied for asylum in France and has been there ever since. He continues to train intensively and competes on an international level under the flag of Western Sahara, an unrecognised country. He has no nationality, having refused offers of citizenship from France and Spain.

Today, Salah is not only one of the highest profile Sahrawi activists in the world, but is seen by his people as a national liberation hero. “Running is part of my resistance. It’s the only weapon I have.”

The Runner follows Salah at a critical point in his life: his success, and the risks associated with it, are about to collide. Morocco is in the middle of a violent crackdown on Sahrawi activists, and two of his family members were recently killed by Moroccan forces. As Salah becomes a more successful athlete and more recognised as a hero, he puts himself and his family in more danger. Under such pressure, what are the limits of his endurance?

(You can read more about the film here.)

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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