AUGUST 18 & 19, 2018


by RunFest Team


Mark your calendars!

Anchorage RunFest, along with (and at) Bear Tooth Theatrepub, will present BOSTON: THE DOCUMENTARY on Thursday August 17, 2017 at 5:30 PM.

Jon Dunham, the producer, director, and cinematographer reflects below on the making of this movie.

In the world of running when somebody says “Boston” no further explanation is required. We all know what this means. It is the granddaddy of all marathons, a race storied, prestigious and in a class all its own. As a filmmaker and a runner, Boston is a race that has always intrigued me.

I first began thinking about making a film about the Boston Marathon around 2002, when I began research and development for my first feature length documentary film Spirit of the Marathon. During the production I visited Boston and witnessed the marathon for the first time in 2006. With assistance from friends I had made at the LA Marathon, I managed to receive a press credential at Boston and I took full advantage of it. I met marathon legends and Boston icons such as Johnny Kelley “The Elder”, Bill Rodgers and Kathrine Switzer. I was also fortunate to spend time with running author and Boston Marathon historian Tom Derderian, who encouraged me to someday pursue a film about Boston. Over the years, Tom and I continued to stay in touch and we kept coming back to the idea of making the film.

One morning in November 2012 I found myself in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia finishing production on Spirit of the Marathon II. I met producer Megan Williams for breakfast and informed her that I wanted to make a third marathon film and this time it would be about Boston. It was a crazy idea at the time given the challenging circumstances of the complicated international and notoriously underfunded production we were in the midst of! Nevertheless, I re-connected with the Boston Athletic Association in early 2013. They were receptive to the idea and we agreed to discuss it further following the 2013 race. Then everything changed. I was not in Boston on April 15, 2013 but I watched along with the rest of the world from afar and in sad disbelief. In regard to making a film I thought it was all over. Perhaps it was something I could come back to maybe 10 years later.

In the months that followed I thought a lot about Boston and at a certain point I began thinking forward to the following year. I considered how it was going to be a very important year in the history of the race and I thought that it should be documented. I still wanted to tell the Boston Marathon story but now 2013 and 2014 had become an important part of the history. With this new perspective and purpose, Megan and I formed a core creative group along with co-producer Eleanor Bingham Miller, executive producer Tom Derderian and composer Jeff Beal. Like the marathon itself, this production has been a long and challenging journey and many, many times we have had to remind ourselves to just keep moving forward. BOSTON is a film about courage, healing and digging deep within ourselves to discover strength we didn’t know we had. Even more than a sporting event, ultimately this is truly what the marathon is all about.

See more about the movie on our Movie Night page.

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