Trailer For Director Richard Bullock's Documentary Feature "RUN"


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Jun. 29, 2020


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Run. That’s what refugees do. Their race starts with the sound of a gun, not a starter pistol. They run from burning villages and away from danger. Now, a group of athletes are running for the right to represent the 71 million displaced people in the world today.

To mark the recent World Refugee Day (June 20), the Swiss sportswear company On has launched and co-produced an epic documentary feature to commemorate the millions of forcibly displaced people worldwide. 

The story follows the legendary Kenyan athlete, Tegla Loroupe, as she mentors a group of talented athlete refugees on their arduous road to the (now cancelled) 2020 Tokyo Games. The Athlete Refugee Team has been captured in an emotionally charged documentary feature shot over a three-year period across eight countries in three different continents.

Directed by Richard Bullock, who’s on the commercialmaking roster of production house Hungry Man, RUN is a story of unwavering human spirit, empowerment and bravery by a group of athlete refugees from the Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. These athletes have been running from tribal gangs and civil war since they were children. Over the years, they have suffered trauma on an unimaginable scale and trained barefoot on dust-filled roads or in their own backyards as residents of the UN refugee camps.

The 90-minute film is a co-production of On, the Tegla Loroupe Foundation and Hungry Man Productions. RUN is now available to watch now on and will be broadcast on ESPN, Globo, Eurosport, ZDF, beIN SPORTS and more.

Bullock took the lead in telling the story as he saw it, heard it, and through the words of the athletes featured. Bullock is a writer/director whose longform films have run on the National Geographic Channel, Eurosport and the BBC.  Before focusing on directing full time, Bullock built up an award-winning legacy in advertising as former executive creative director at 180 Amsterdam and working with agencies such as Chiat\Day\Mojo, Hunt Lascaris TBWA, Cliff Freeman & Partners and Lowe Howard Spink. 

RUN begins in 2017 and covers three years and the unprecedented hurdles--not least a global pandemic--as the athletes navigate seeking asylum while competing overseas.

The final chapter of this story (for now) has had COVID-19 to compete with. With their training camp closed, the team was sent back to refugee camps and forced to put its Olympic ambitions on hold. The final arc of the film was therefore directed by Bullock from afar, with the athletes self-shooting on Skype and smartphones in Israel, Germany, Kenya and Switzerland.

Bullock said, “Refugees get a lot of people talking for them, so I made a conscious effort to allow the audience to listen to the characters directly. The refugee athletes are all incredibly wise and thoughtful. From very early on I tried to uncover how they were able to remain so hopeful and positive when the world had given them little reason to believe it was anything but violence and horror. I learnt an incredible amount about coping with difficulties and facing uncertainty from them. I think that’s the biggest takeaway--it’s not about running at all. It’s about resilience and overcoming hardship. If you’re ever faced with a mountain to climb, the words and actions of these athletes will resonate profoundly.”

The inspiring words of one athlete in particular stuck with the director. Gai Nyang told him: “I dream with my eyes open. I do my dreaming during the day and I always think and say to myself, there is still a chance to make something of this life.”

On has had a partnership with the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation (TLPF) since 2017, where 31 refugee athletes receive housing and training. The majority of athletes selected by World Athletics (IAAF) to represent the Athlete Refugee Team are from the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation.

Here’s the trailer for the documentary feature:


Client & Co-Producer On (Swiss spotswear company) Production Hungry Man Productions Richard Bullock, director; Feliciano Robayna, Matt Buels, Bryan Buckley, executive producers; Matt Buels, Jack Beardsley, Hannah Stone, Sarah MacNeil, producers; Jordan Maddocks, Theodore Tennant, Peter Eastgate, Luke Scully, Richard Bullock, cinematography. Editorial Philip Horn, Lily Davis, Peter Barton, editors. Postproduction The Editors, Sydney Nicoletta Rousianos, executive post producer; Alistair Pratten, postproduction supervisor; Carly Anne Kenneally, Rikki-Li Clark, Grace O’Connell, Anna Downie, assistant editors; Christine Trodd, colorist. Film ID Sezay Altinok Motion Design Machines of Loving Grace Brett McManus, designer. Sound Bonsta

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