The Run is a feature length documentary film which follows Australian Pat Farmer’s test of human spirit and behind the scenes drama as he runs the length of India – 80 kilometres a day for 64 days with the backdrop of colourful, enchanting, challenging, organized chaos of India, which will saturate your senses.
The Run is a visual treat with tension, humour, enchanting vistas, and stunning India as the backdrop. This film is a journey where the destination really does not matter.
Kilometers Per Day
As an adventurer and former federal politician, ultra-marathon runner Pat Farmer was looking for a challenge that only India would inspire. With its 1.2 billion people, rich diversity, history, poverty, corruption, cultures, religions, natural beauty and traffic, there was plenty to test him.
Pat began with a piece of paper; a map on his kitchen table. The idea soon transformed into one of the most adventurous journeys anyone could embark on: running from the southern-most point of India, Kanyakumari, to the Summit of the Himalayan Mountains in the far north, Srinagar in Kashmir.
While the logistics were being sorted out, Pat attended the red carpet screening of ‘UnIndian’, starring Australian and international cricketer Brett Lee (now also exclusively playing Twenty20 with the Sixers) and Indian Actress Tannishtha Chatterjee.
Pat pitched the idea to UnIndian director, Anupam Sharma, a well-known Aussie filmmaker with Indian roots, who was exploring the possibility of a film on the run. He thought the idea of capturing such an undertaking on film for posterity would have wide appeal, especially for the creative team at TEMPLE; his Australian production company based out of Fox Studios.
A one-minute teaser set the tone of the film and helped confirm support from potential sponsors. It also drew enthusiasm from supportive officials connected to Indian Tourism.
Because January 26 is the Republic Day of India, and Australia Day, The High Commissioner of India to Australia, H.E. Mr Navdeep Suri, aptly suggested it be the start day of the run.
Toughest point of The Run? – ” Getting back on the road after being in hospital suffering severe dehydration. “
– Pat Farmer
This also ensured a smoother run towards the north, given India’s weather conditions. From then, the project went into overdrive. H.E. Mr Suri personally ensured that this would be an epic run; ministries and departments of 11 states across India and federal ministries of Tourism, Ministry of External Affairs (Public Diplomacy Unit) and others were mobilised and a major meeting held in December 2015.
They all offered support, help and sponsorship from the first meeting. The Indian High Commission and others worked to coordinate the necessary provisions.
Australia offered reciprocal support; Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launched The Spirit of India Run in Canberra. Australia’s Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, even made a surprise call to Pat Farmer to wish him well just before he began his heroic feat.
H.E. Mr. Suri, went beyond the call of duty, ensuring that Pat, his team and the film crew were treated like Maharajahs – including having Air India as sponsors and local police and medical services as supporters. In this never-seen-before ‘85-kilometre a day’ journey, Pat was not alone; his race team, 2 to 6 cameras, and an audience of billions from India, Australia and around the world followed him from start to finish.
There was also a caravan of local, district, state and federal officials in their vehicles at receptions, public talks, luxurious accommodation and security.
As the film will reveal, it was a quite a thing to see a group of 6-20 vehicles with police escorts, ambulances, and at times, fire brigades, travelling with Pat, protecting and supporting him on his run along the length of India.
Funniest moment of The Run? – ” The welcoming party at the cement factory which included fire-breathing dancers in horse costume. “
– Pat Farmer
Pat Farmer completed the run in just 64 days and touched the finish line ahead of schedule. Traversing 12 states and running a breathtaking distance of 4416.7km, the run magnificently sailed through the unpredictable, organised chaos of India.
Pat’s journey was a true test of human spirit – he used this spirit to raise funds for the education of disadvantaged girls in India via the Nanhi Kali Foundation.
“Best moment of The Run? – ” Entering Kashmir after passing through the long tunnel from Jammu. “
– Pat Farmer
SPIRIT OF INDIA RUN MAP – KANYAKUMARI TO KASHMIR (4647 kms)
Pat commenced his run in Kanyakumari and ran up to his final destination at the top of India; Srinagar. To see the some highlights from his journey, zoom in on the map and click on the dots!
THE RUN TEAM
Ultra-Marathon Runner, Politician and Pioneer
Ultra-Marathon Runner, father, husband, former federal politician, labourer, motivational speaker and author.
By most people’s standards Pat Farmer is the embodiment of the quintessential Aussie doer. Reaching for his running shoes is a natural response when he spots a good cause.
His past feats include the record-breaking 14,964 km Centenary of Federation run around Australia in 1999, in 191 days. He was also the first man to run from the North Pole to the South Pole, raising $100,000 for Red Cross, from April 2011 to January 2012. (He also ran for peace in the Middle East in 2014, and Vietnam in late December to January 2013.)
When we ask what keeps him going, he says most people want ‘’to do something’’ to help others but don’t know where to start. He highlights important causes with a run. ‘’If you have the time and the ability, just do it. I have the ability to run on a platform so I run to raise awareness [about causes].’’ Pat is a man who seeks, and likes to share, inspiration. He says he sometimes finds it frustrating that sport and reality television shows attract prime-time viewing while other causes become a snippet in the media.
His most challenging and complex adventure yet was to run the length of India, non-stop, to raise money to help disadvantaged girls via the Nanhi Kali Foundation. Pat started on January 26, 2016 (Australia Day and the Republic Day of India) and completed the run in 64 days, ahead of schedule. (see The Journey section)
There’s no doubting Farmer’s enthusiasm, but we were curious if he ever felt lonely on the road. He said he finds running quite meditative: ‘’When I run, I reflect on life and dig deep and answer questions.’’ He said there was also a freedom to it and he always follows through. ‘’If I take the first step, I take the last step.’’
Journalist, Photographer and General Communications
Kevin had his first overseas experience when he was about 4 and his Vietnamese parents took him to visit his country of birth.
His second big trip was to India for The Run. He was in the car in front of Pat Farmer, photographing the run and became an expert at jumping out of moving vehicles.
”I think I aged 30 years,” Kevin laughed. ”But it was an amazing, unique experience. It was also complete, utter chaos.
”We were in some ridiculous situations, for example one week there was a rockslide and I ended up alone. I only had my camera, shorts and t-shirt on and nothing else.
”I walked to the next town, about 7kms away and found a hotel with an abandoned train area where nothing much was happening, apart from bees by the thousands and chickens wandering around. I found the others (in The Run team) there. It was absurd and hilarious.”
Trainer and Crew Manager
Katie (also Pat’s niece, ”bodyguard”, running mate, organiser) is a fitness specialist of 12 years and a movement coach at Health Evolution Lifestyle Project (H.E.L.P) with friend Josh Cordoba, a co-founder of the business.
Her first major run was on Farmer’s Pole-to-Pole run in 2012. When he asked her to join The Run in India, she jumped at the chance.
“It’s hard not to be inspired by him. If he can run for a day/months…I thought I can see how far I get.’’ She said the locals joined the run; ”some for 1km, some longer. They’re from all walks of life, some ran in thongs.”
”My job was to watch over him and be the voice of reason” ensuring they kept to the timetable despite traffic and crowd delays.
”You need to have your wits about you, everything is on the road and Pat never stops. It was a phenomenal experience.
She said you never forget the people you meet: ‘’We have kept in touch with quite a few people we met on the runs…you develop bonds…some are lifelong.’’
Pat’s Running Companion
Josh Cordoba likes to take life as it comes. “I had no expectations (about The Run), I didn’t even have any joggers, I had to go out and buy some.” He became involved via Pat Farmer’s trainer for the run, Katie Walsh, who is best friends with Josh’s wife. He described the trip as ”awesome”. “I didn’t go into it expecting it not to be busy, but it wasn’t easy.”
Josh said that it was both funny and worrying ”Watching Kevin (the photographer) jumping out of moving cars and hoping he survived each day.”
He said he loved the experience but was sad to miss his daughter Tilly’s 5th birthday while he was overseas. The best point of The Run for him was his last day: ”Running into Golden Temple in Amritsar and spending the next morning in the temple was by far the highlight for me.”
Social Media and Support Crew
Tania Farmer wanted a practical role in her husband’s latest odyssey. So she signed up for social media, joined the support crew and mastered jumping out of a moving car to join Pat on the run.
She ran with him up to 20kms and headed back to accommodation to help organise dietary needs and work with the recovery team.
”I was very keen to go on the run. The first few weeks are difficult as he acclimatises…it’s incredibly taxing for him. It’s hard at home not knowing what he is putting himself through,” she said.
”He shuts out negativity…never says die, is headstrong and very determined. It’s fascinating to witness. It sets him apart from other people.”
Tania found India to be a ”sensory overload.”
”It’s a country of extremes; wealth and poverty, noise and bedlam and then peace and spirituality.”
Tania has her own business in Sydney coaching women on dating and relationships.
It was the latter that afforded a stand-out moment in India. She has overseas clients and continued working while there. ”There was internet everywhere, even in remote places,” she said, ”and there I was skyping with my clients. It was surreal.’’
DR. JOSEPH GRACE
Team Doctor and Entrepreneur
Dr. Joseph Grace is another member of Pat’s team. Joseph graduated from his studies in medicine in 1987, and has been in practice since. Having met Pat 20 years ago on a Sydney to Melbourne Ultra-Marathon run, and reuniting after Pat’s pole-to-pole run, Joseph joined the running team to provide medical support and supervision. He soon became popular in India with his jovial nature, his entrepreneurship, and his enthusiasm.
THE FILM TEAM
Producer And Director
Anupam Sharma is a filmmaker with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in film and theatre, specializing in Directing and Acting, from University of NSW.
Nominated as one of the top 50 most powerful and influential people in the Australian film industry, Anupam is the founding head of films & casting TEMPLE based at Fox Studios – Sydney. He has lead a team of film professionals, line producing, co producing, and executive producing international films and TVCs in Australia, mainly from India and few from China, USA, and Denmark.
He returned to directing after winning a commission round by Australian National Maritime Museum and directed a short documentary for them. The documentary Indian Aussies – Terms & Conditions Apply, was installed in the museum for over two months and also nominated for awards at London Film Festival and screened at the St. Kilda short film festival.
Destination NSW then hired Anupam as the Creative Director for their most ambitious and high budgeted TV campaign for India. He directed 4 TVCs for this campaign and has been contracted to direct two more after the success of the ads in India.
Anupam also directed the much-publicized romantic comedy unINDIAN, starring Australian cricketer Brett Lee and internationally acclaimed actress Tannishtha Chatterjee. The film premiered at Montreal World Film Festival and screened at Antipodes at Cannes in 2016. David Stratton, the most respected Australian film critic said “The film is engaging in its cheerful celebration of community”.
With private and government investment from India and Australia Anupam then directed feature length documentary The Run (currently in post). The Run follows the journey of ultra-marathoner runner and ex-member of Parliament, Pat Farmer as he runs 85kms a day for 66 days across India. The film has received theatrical distribution in Australia and New Zealand.
Anupam is currently completing his documentary with Lisa Duff (producer)- Australian Cinema- The Indian Experience – a look at the roller coaster ride of Bollywood film crews in Australia and assessment of how the Australian film industry fared in dealing with the worlds biggest film industry. This tongue in cheek biographical look at the Indian and Aussie film industry is slated for release in January 2018.
Anupam is also popular on the speaking circuit and commentator on issues related to Australian India media/cinema sector and is a founding partner of organisations such as An Australian Film Initiative and Diverscreens.
With a healthy slate of factual and fiction feature films as a producer and/or director, Anupam is collaborating with leading Australian film talent and continues to work on Australian stories for a global audience with a touch of India.
Deepti is a narrative aficionado with a deep passion for all kinds of stories and how people learn from them. Her core skills are in Multi-platform content production and consulting at editorial and executive levels. With over a decade of experience in producing screen content she has produced award-winning television programs, short films, editorial projects, narrative learning films, animations, illustrations, games and online learning experiences in Asia and Australia.
Penny Robins is a freelance Sydney based producer and executive producer who works through her company, Annamax Media. She has produced and executive produced for ABC Television, SBS, Canal Plus, BBC and she worked as an executive producer at Film Australia from 2003 – 2008. From long form documentaries to series, some utilizing expansive dramatic recreation, some specialist factual and others ob doc and produced in multiple cross platform formats, Penny has worked with some of the country’s leading production companies, writers and directors. She has worked across genres and formats on a body of award winning social history series for ABC including Bombora the story of Australian Surfing; Wide Open Road the story of the car in Australia, Australia On Trial, Whitlam: The Power and The Passion. In 2014 Penny created and series produced the ABC 3 kids factual series MY:24 which features the life changing stories of 26 young people and was versioned as 13 x 30 and 26 x 15. The series has sold to France Televisions and other smaller territories and continues to run in the ABC kids schedule.
Production Office Manager
During her time completing her Bachelor of Creative Industries at Edith Cowan University, Perth and studying abroad at California State University Sacramento, Rachael discovered her strong passion for Producing films. One of her notable achievements was the screening of her Web Pilot, The Graveyard Shift (2016), at the Next Gen Webfest in 2017. In early 2017 she made the move from Perth to Sydney to work in the production office Films and Casting Temple at Fox Studios, Sydney, where she is responsible for coordinating all PR, Marketing, and admin roles.
SAMANTHA MAREE BARKER
Samantha has a working knowledge of a multitude of production aspects, from pre-production, production and post as a result of her varied hands-on roles since the start of her career. Her experience spans feature films, documentaries and television commercials. Samantha has acted as Production Coordinator in the filming of a short documentary piece for the Australian National Maritime Museum and is managing casting / coordinating of various other PR, Marketing, and admin roles at the Fox Studios office of TEMPLE.
JANINE PEARCE (JP MEDIA LAW)
Janine received her law degree from Columbia University School of Law in New York. She practiced in the areas of securities, mergers / acquisitions and intellectual property for 6 years at the New York and Tokyo offices of Cleary Gottlieb, a leading international law firm. Thereafter, she worked at the New York offices of Showtime Networks, where she managed television distribution contracts and advised on advertising, antitrust, copyright and trademark law.
In 1998, she moved to Australia and worked at the Film Finance Corporation (predecessor to Screen Australia) in Sydney as Legal Manager advising on the company’s investments in feature films and television drama until 2006. She subsequently joined an entertainment boutique helmed by Nina Stevenson. Since 2008 she has operated a sole practice, JP Media Law + Consulting, where she represents creators, financiers and producers of media projects and advises on all aspects of contract and copyright law, financing and distribution.
Janine acted as Executive Producer on several feature films, including Road Train, The Reef, and Rip Tide with several more in development.
She is qualified to practice in Australia and the United States.
JANE CORDEN (MONEY PENNY)
Moneypenny was established in Australia in 1980 and is an acknowledged industry specialist with unrivalled experience. As a financial services business, they provide a complete range of financial management solutions to creative industries worldwide.
Their modus operandi in working with film and TV producers is about providing project-based financial management software and production accounting services; payroll, rebate facilitation and advisory services. Increasingly their specialised skills-set extends to theatre, events, commercials, and other project-oriented creative businesses.
Moneypenny has offices in London, Sydney, Cape Town and Auckland with an associate company based in Los Angeles. They offer their client-base a fully comprehensive service for any production or co-production that includes a team of highly experienced people with expert local knowledge. Their reach stretches across all continents and is not limited by any office location.
Digvijay can talk cinema, he can walk cinema, and he can laugh cinema. An avid Indian film and music lover who always dreamt to work along with the merchants of Indian cinema has been with films & casting Temple for over 7 years, assisting with production accounts and bookkeeping. He completed his Master’s degree in Professional Accounting from prestigious University of Technology, Sydney.
Having studied in both Australia and the Film & Television Institute of India, Kush is recently returned from screening his final film at Europe’s largest student film festival. As a student, he received an early dose of Indian films as an AD on Dil Chahta Hai and now lives between Sydney and Mumbai, working across a range of media.
DOP (2nd Unit)
Pooja Sharma is the cinematographer of such acclaimed films as the multi award winning documentary I Am, the short film Kaveri [Best Film, Kerala International Film Festival, 2011], The Man who Dwarfed the Mountains [National Award for Best Agriculture Film, 2015] and All Rise for Your Honour [Silver, Indian Documentary Producers’ Association Awards, 2011].
Trained in architecture at Delhi’s prestigious School of Planning and Architecture, Pooja went on to spend two years with the NGO TARAgyan (a division of Development Alternatives), where she worked in education and training. An abiding interest in photography led to a hard won seat at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, from where she graduated with a Diploma in Motion Picture Photography in 2006. Her diploma film Gadha Janam Safal won multiple international awards and was selected for the prestigious International Film Festival of India Panorama, 2006.
Pooja Sharma is based in Mumbai, India and travels widely.
Post-Production ZIGZAG- Editor Teaser-Online
RAKESH E. NAIR
Data Wrangler and Production, India
FRED EL HARRIS
Cameraman 2nd Unit – Studio Shoot
Supervising DOP, Australia
Shweta recently cut Match Cut Films and Fifth Head’s Documentary ‘Pushkar Puran’ for director Kamal Swaroop. Before that she was editor on Films Division’s Documentary ‘Tracing Phalke’ for director Kamal Swaroop, Scoop Whoop and Pechkas Films’ web series ‘Baked’ (SEASON 1 & 2) for director Vishwajoy Mukherjee, Medient’s ‘Battle for Banaras’ for director Kamal Swaroop. After 5 years in the industry Shweta has cut 4 feature length documentaries, 2 feature length films (indies), short films (both indies and studio movies), few advertisements and music videos. Her enthusiasm for big screen storytelling is matched only by her total dedication to the craft of film editing. Learn, unlearn, learn, being her mantra.
Vikesh, after graduating in commerce, went on to pursue further studies in film editing at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. He has edited a number of documentary films, TV commercials, music videos and short films. His short film ‘Basic’ has received awards at film festivals in India. ‘Expect us’, ‘Run for Pride’ are some of his recent projects.
Satyajit is a Pune-based music composer-programmer. A trained Indian classical flutist, he has received scholarships in Indian classical music for the instrument he plays. Apart from his knowledge of Indian classical music, he has studied the Western classical music as well. He has composed music for several fiction and non-fiction films, mainly in Marathi film industry. His vast body of work also involves music for TV shows, telefilms, jingles for the ad world. His work with violin maestro Pt. Prabhakar Jog on a series of ten albums ‘Gaata rahe mera violin’ went on to become one of the bestselling album series from 2002-2008. His work also involves many non-film albums – commercial and not-for-profit. He is a technical expert and has more than 17 years of composing and programming experience under his belt. He is an expert in studio sound recording, editing, mixing, mastering and DSP (Digital Signal Processing).
Head of Production, India
Dr. Sumedh, a medical doctor, is a health communication practitioner, documentary filmmaker and a creative writer. After his training in medicine, Sumedh went on to pursue a career in public health research and communication making several media campaigns, documentaries and public service films on various health issues. A post-graduate from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in health promotion, he founded Samagra Creations with his creative partner that makes films and other media campaigns. He has written several songs, poems and screenplays along with plays that have been staged on national and international platforms. He has also written reports and translated books in Hindi, Urdu and English and Marathi.
Omkar is a freelance Web Designer and Graphics Designer; Film Editor; Theatre Director, Theatre Designer and Actor Trainer, an alumni of National School of Drama (NSD) with a specialization in Direction & Design, an alumni of Ninasam Theatre Institute; a Mnemonist, Memory Trainer and Memory Athlete having achieved the title of International Master of Memory (IMM) and have represented India in several International and World Championships and won several medals for India; a Rubik’s Cube Expert and Trainer; Traveler… in a nutshell, a Vagabond Artist who believes in exploring the mysteries of life.
Nitin Bhajan is a fine arts graduate, Nitin started working as in the industry as a graphic designer and creative visualiser. After working for several years in Mumbai, Nitin went on to pursue his further education at the National School of Drama (NSD). He is a professional theatre and film actor, set designer and yet an enthusiastic freelance graphic designer. He has designed several health promotion campaigns with Samagra Creations along with his freelance jobs where he has developed creatives for various leading commercial brands in India.
Head, Media and Publicity
Nicole Browne: Nicole founded Media Opps to work on things she loves – publicity and media operations for events, sport and community programs. The Run brought all those together!
Nicole’s background in major events such as Torch Relays, Royal Visits, multicultural festivals, Australian of the Year Awards and more came into play to generate media coverage of The Run back in Australia, working closely with Kevin on the road via a lot of texts, whatsapp conversations and mobile calls when the network allowed.
While she missed out on being part of the on-road fun, co-ordinating live radio and TV interviews between Australia and India came with its own challenges and she admits to ordering a lot of Indian takeaway dinners to feel connected to the on-road team.
Distribution and Sales Consultant
Racheal is an enthusiastic individual with an unflappable, can-do attitude. Racheal is internationally experienced, having worked as the Acquisitions and Sales Coordinator for Bankside Films in London. She has over 7 years experience in both Film and TV having worked in various aspects of the business in London, Sydney, and Dubai.
Senior Researcher and Writer
Christine has almost two decades of media experience as a journalist, Chief of Staff/trainer, Deputy Editor and Online Editor at Fairfax Media. Her primary role as Online Editor was at the multi-award winning, bi-weekly St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, which then had a paper readership covering a population of more than 423,000 and an average monthly online audience of 300,000. Christine thrives on deadlines and has a strong background in research, training and administration. Hearing other people’s stories is a privilege she cherishes and looks forward to exploring further in her research and policy role for Films and Casting Temple, based at Fox Studios.
After taking a redundancy from Fairfax in mid-2016, she pursued part-time work to expand on other experiences including: an Envoy at the 2016 Sydney Biennale and a voluntary receptionist role at the Asylum Seekers Centre at Newtown, Sydney. Her New Year’s Resolution was to see more movies, in cinemas, a week (on track so far).
While finishing a BA in Communications majoring in Journalism, Film Studies and Politics from the University of Western Sydney in 1997, Christine worked in administrative roles for organisations including Centacare Family Services Parramatta and reported for the stable of Fairfax Community Newspapers including Fairfield, Parramatta, Blacktown and Liverpool publications.
Launch of Pat Farmer's next ultramarathon 'Spirit of India' run
Pat Farmer's Spirit of India Run
Pat Farmer's Spirit of India Run Reaches 60 Days for Girls Education | HMTV
Australian athelete Pat Farmer visits Ahmedabad as a part of 'Spirit of India' Run
Australian marathon runner on 'Spirit of India Run' arrives in Delhi
Australian marathon runner on Spirit of India Run arrives in Delhi
Our film would not have been possible without all of our supporters all over the world.
In particular would like to thank Incredible India for providing hospitality, access to amazing locations in India, and permissions to film in amazing locations.
Mahindra for production vehicles to travel the length of India.
Air India for flying our Producer and Director from Australia to India, and our local crews within India.
Lastly, the Ministry of External Affairs and their Diplomacy Unit for facilitating this epic run by Pat Farmer, and facilitating our film crew over a period of 3 months. We are in debt to them for all of their support and guidance, particularly H.E Mr. Vikas Swaroop and H.E Mr. Navdeep Suri.
WRITE TO US
CONTACT THE FILMMAKERS:
The RUN FILM FSA #6, FOX STUDIOS, Driver Ave,
Moore Park 2021 NSW, Sydney.
Phone: +61 2 9383 4150