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Anjali Nayar’s intimate portrait of running for redemption, Gun Runners, opens in theatres across Canada on October 7 in partnership with Canada Running Series. Doc will play in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.


Gun Runners

September 20, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

On the eve of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Canada’s fall marathon season, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Canada Running Series are proud to present an epic story of survival through sports. Gun Runners is the first feature documentary by Montreal-born and Nairobi-based Anjali Nayar.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with the NFB on the launch of Gun Runners in the lead-up to this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16,” said Canada Running Series Race Director Alan Brookes. “Our mission is ‘building community through running’ and this film is a poignant drama, not just about the marathon, but about the power of sport to change lives and communities. If you need any last-minute courage or inspiration before your next run, don’t miss Julius Arile’s story.”

Gun Runners opens in Toronto at the Scotiabank Theatre on October 7. Audiences and running aficionados elsewhere across Canada will also have a chance to see it on the big screen as of October 7.

Sure to inspire dedicated amateur runners and armchair athletes alike, Gun Runners is a story about the American Dream, African-style. Two Kenyan cattle rustlers trade their rifles for running shoes to compete against the world’s best marathon runners. Filmed over a 10-year period in Kenya and New York City, and told entirely by its main characters, Julius Arile and Robert Matanda, the story takes us from life in the North Kenyan bush to the mean streets of the New York Marathon.

Lured by the possibility of promising futures as professional runners, Arile and Matanda escape furtive, hard lives on the run with rogue warrior bands. Nayar intimately captures their successes and setbacks as they transition from outlaws to athletes who commit to a highly structured training schedule.

Their experiences may have prepared them for the agonies of the long-distance runner, but can they outrace the corruption, mistrust and jealousy that threaten to derail their careers? Nayar’s all-too-human drama makes it clear that, as Arile succinctly puts it, “If I win, my life will be changed.”

 Quick Facts

  • A question and answer session will follow some opening night screenings. Check local listings for screening times.
  • Anjali Nayar is one of the top up-and-coming talents in the world of film. Her award-winning work has explored a range of topics, from climate change to political activism to pop culture.
  • Gun Runners is produced by Kat Baulu and Annette Clarke for the NFB’s Quebec and Atlantic Studio.
  • The film opens in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on November 4.


Associated Links

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Canada Running Series

Stay Connected

Online Screening Room: NFB.ca
Facebook: facebook.com/nfb.ca
Twitter: twitter.com/thenfb

Media Relations

For the Canada Running Series

Jenna Pettinato
Manager of Communications
Tel.: 416-944-2765, ext: 511
Twitter: @RunCRS

For the NFB

Pat Dillon-Moore
NFB Publicist
Cell: 514-206-1750
E-mail: p.dillon@nfb.ca
Twitter: @PatDoftheNFB

Lily Robert
Director, Communications, Partnerships and Public Affairs, NFB
Tel.: 514-283-3838
Cell: 514-296-8261
E-mail: l.robert@nfb.ca

About Canada Running Series and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Canada Running Series [CRS] is passionately committed to building community through running. As the nation’s premier running circuit with 8 events across the country, CRS annually attracts 60,000 participants and raises more than $5 million for some 250 mostly-local charities.

An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 8-race Canada Running Series. In 2015 it attracted more than 26,000 participants from 63 countries, raised $3.5 million for 173 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast regularly attracts viewers from over 100 countries, and in 2015 the event also hosted the international Bridge The Gap movement of running crews. http://STWM.ca

About the NFB

The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, and groundbreaking interactive stories, installations and participatory experiences. NFB producers are deeply embedded in communities across the country, working with talented artists and creators in production studios from St. John’s to Vancouver, on projects that stand out for their excellence in storytelling, their innovation, and their social resonance. NFB productions have won over 5,000 awards, including 15 Canadian Screen Awards, 17 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access many of these works, visit NFB.ca or download the NFB’s apps for mobile devices and connected TV.