THE RUNNER dir. Saeed Taji Farouky

Marie-Therese Garvey   Production Manager

The Runner is a film about endurance. It is the story of a champion long-distance runner whose journey transformed him from an athlete into the symbol of a national liberation movement. Salah Hmatou Ameidan is willing to risk his life, his career, his family and his nationality to run for a country that doesn't exist. He is from Western Sahara, officially Africa's last colony and under Moroccan occupation since 1975.

Salah insists, whenever possible, on representing Western Sahara in competition. Today, he is not only one of the highest-profile Sahrawi activists in the world but is seen by his people as a hero, a symbol, an ambassador and a spokesman for the Western Sahara liberation movement, "Running is part of my resistance. It's the only weapon I have."

The Runner follows Salah during two critical years of the "Arab Spring", and examines what drives him to take immense risks, and make huge sacrifices, for a cause that is virtually unknown. The film looks at the burden of being a hero and asks "how long before you stop running"?

"The Runner is an excellent and necessary way of telling the 'forgotten' story of Western Sahara." - John Pilger

" This is a very important project. The story of Western Sahara is one of the great untold stories of the present time." - Ken Loach

Read more about The Runner and where to watch it here