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    A documentary that puts the spotlight on women’s running

    Seven women. Seven cities. One passion — running. That’s Limitless — a 60-minute documentary that showcases everything about women’s running — their will to do it, the obstacles they face, the struggle they go through, their pains, their achievements, and their ongoing victories. Commissioned by the Indian Amateur Runners Trust (IART) and made by Bengaluru-based Believe Films, Limitless was screened at a private session early in October, and will be screened for the public in November.
    A crowdfunded initiative, the attempt, members of IART say is to bring awareness about women in the running circuit that’s fast expanding in India. “While there are organisations hosting competitive running events, coaching runners, and selling running gear, nobody is looking beyond. It isn’t easy for women to step out of their comfort zones and pursue their passion,” says Ashok Nath, trustee, IART, adding, “There are several obstacles that women face, like unsupportive families, society, demanding schedules, fear of eve teasers and even the guilt for making time for herself. Through Limitless, we hope to encourage women to follow their passion and sensitise men to the obstacles women face.”
    What makes this subject more interesting is the fact that the women featured in this film come from starkly different backgrounds.

    Stringing the stories
    A Kashmiri Pandit who is trying to find her place and home in Gurgaon, a special-needs educator and an expecting mother from Kolkata, a house-help from Mumbai, a divorcee, and a retired army man’s wife from Bengaluru and an entrepreneur-homemaker from Chennai. All these women from varying age-groups took up running as a form of exercise, but over a period of time, they discovered how running has helped them transform their lives. However, finding these unusual stories wasn’t easy.
    “There was a pent up demand to speak out, and once we put out the word about this film, we received several dozen stories and it was quite a task to sieve through them and arrive at the most worthy stories. Our criteria was simple: a story must be relevant, interesting, and the protagonist must be camera friendly,” says Nath. Filming began at the Bengaluru Pinkathon that was held in January 2016. From then on, the crew shot with all the seven women in their cities, at their homes and outdoors — a nine-month process.

    No deep pockets
    Equally difficult was mobilising crowdfunding, admits IART. With a budget of `34 lakhs for the production and marketing, raising the sum solely through crowdfunding was difficult. Though 81 per cent of the money was raised from fellow runners, IART had to still look for brand partners, “But we are categorical that the integrity of the film isn’t compromised, though crowd-funding has been an uphill task,” says Nath. With plans to showcase the film at as many film festivals as possible, the team opens the show with the Bengaluru screening this month.
    November 12, St Mark’s Hotel. Tickets (`500). Details: youtoocanrun.com

    — Ayesha Tabassum

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