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home > news > usa: northeast > racing the rez - cross country documentary screening and christopher mcdougall appearance in arlington

Racing the Rez - Cross Country Documentary Screening and Christopher McDougall Appearance in Arlington

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Posted Wednesday, 17 October, 2012

Somerville, Massachusetts: Documentary filmmaker Brian Truglio's first feature length documentary, Racing the Rez, was award Best Documentary by the Arlington International Film Festival this past week. Truglio, a Somerville resident, produced, directed and shot the film himself in the rugged canyon lands of the Navajo and Hopi Reservations in Northern Arizona.

Racing the Rez follows Navajo and Hopi cross-country runners from two rival high schools that put it all on the line for Tribal pride, triumph over adversity and state championship glory. Win or lose, what they learn in the course of their seasons will have a dramatic effect on the rest of their lives.

After watching the film, Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run, posted on his blog, "If it's not the best running movie ever made, it's damn sure in the fight." Earlier this year, McDougall threw his support behind the film's Kickstarter campaign and helped Truglio raise the money to finish editing the film.

The Arlington International Film Festival will screen Racing the Rez at the Regent Theater in Arlington on Friday, October 19th at 6:30 pm. McDougall will do a book signing from 5- 6 pm before the screening at the Regent Theater.

Following the screening Truglio, McDougall, Carl Perry, one of the coaches from Racing the Rez, and the film's editor, Sean Sandefur, will participate in a discussion moderated by Larry Gagnon, accomplished athlete, motivational speaker and long-time affiliate with the Boston Athletic Association.

As part of the discussion, McDougall will reveal the "Best Story I Never Told," the missing chapter of Born to Run based on a moving story told to him by Hopi elder and runner, Dennis Poolheco.

A life-long runner and a cross-country standout at Watchung Hills Regional High School in New Jersey from 1986-90, Truglio understands the power of running to raise the human spirit in trying times. In 1989, he lost his close friend and cross-country teammate, Chris Drewry, after a tragic boating accident. This experience, which left his community in mourning, coupled with Truglio’s passion for running and Native culture led to the creation of Racing the Rez.

A co-production of Wolf Hill Films and Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT), Racing the Rez focuses on five teens growing up on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations. Collectively, the runners shared stories about the presence of alcohol, drug abuse, family deaths from overdosing, parental abandonment and living conditions among others.

“All of the boys in the film showed a tremendous amount of courage in the things that they shared with me,” Truglio added. “I think part of it is that they needed to share this stuff and wanted to.”

Set against the iconic landscape of the Southwest and offering a rare view into the surprising complexity of contemporary reservation life, Racing the Rez yields a powerful, intimate view of transformation and hope.

To watch the film’s trailer, visit Racing the Rez, an American Public Television (APT) offering, will be available to Public Broadcasting stations early this November.

Additional Information Regarding Racing the Rez:
Run time: apprx. 57 minutes Credits: A film by Brian Truglio.
Racing the Rez is a co-production of Wolf Hill Films and NAPT. Funding for Racing the Rez: Major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting & Native American
Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT). Also, a special thank you goes out to the film’s private donors, especially those who supported Racing the Rez’s Kickstarter Campaign.
Electronic Press Kit available at:
Listen to the filmmaker interview online at:
Arlington Internation Film Festival Award Announcement:
Crew Bios:
Producer/Director Brian Truglio is a filmmaker, editor and teacher as well as a former cross-country athlete and current long-distance runner. He first traveled to the Navajo and Hopi Reservations in the early 1990s as part of a month-long assistant teaching program run by Bucknell Universtiry and has since returned a number of times. His credits include Fenceline: A Company Town Divided (Associate Producer & Editor), a documentary on environmental racism in the town of Norco, Louisiana, as well as editing on popular series such as Design Squad (WGBH/PBS), Build It Bigger (Discovery Channel), Sliced (History Channel), The Works (History Channel) and Kids by the Dozen (TLC). He got his television start as a Post- Production Assistant on the 2000 Emmy® award-winning School Prayer: A Community at War—a documentary about one woman’s fight to separate church and state in her children’s Mississippi high school. Beginning in 2002, Truglio lived in Dublin, Ireland, for five years where he taught at the National Film School and did editing work on such projects as the Louis Marcus documentary Cosc Ar Ghneas/A Ban on Sex, the award-winning short film Recoil, and the feature documentary Here to Stay. In Boston, Truglio lectures at Emerson College. He holds a BA in Philosophy from Bucknell University and an MFA in photography, film and video from the Visual Studies Workshop.

Editor Sean Sandefur has been working in documentary film and television for 15 years. He has worked on projects for PBS, BBC-World, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, A&E, The History Channel and many other networks and independent outlets. His editing credits include The Unholy Tarahumara, an award-winning and poetic representation of the lifestyle and culture of the Tarahumara Indians who are renowned runners from the vast and astonishing Copper Canyon area of Chihuahua, Mexico. From 2004-2005, Sandefur edited the PBS special Raising Cain featuring child psychologist Michael Thompson taking an in-depth look at the emotional lives of adolescent boys. His series work includes the shows Design Squad (WGBH/PBS), The Works (History Channel), Build It Bigger (Discovery Channel), Extreme Engineering (Discovery Channel) and Kids by the Dozen (TLC). He currently works and resides in Boston, Mass.

About NAPT
Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, shares Native stories with the world through support of the creation, promotion and distribution of Native media. Founded in 1977, through various media—Public Television, Public Radio and the Internet—NAPT brings awareness of Indian and Alaska Native issues. NAPT operates VisionMaker, your premier source for quality Native American educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media—to be the next generation of storytellers. NAPT is located at theUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln. NAPT offers student employment, internships and fellowships. Reaching the general public and the global market is the ultimate goal for the dissemination of Native-produced media.



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