Saucony Premieres "Finding Strong" Film
Innovative film project spotlights the transformative power of running; Event art sale benefits Achilles Kids organization
Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013
LEXINGTON, Mass. - The highly anticipated red carpet premiere of the independent documentary film Finding Strong, produced by global performance running footwear and apparel brand Saucony in collaboration with Runner’s World magazine, the worldwide authority on running, took place at the New York Institute of Technology Auditorium in New York City on Saturday, November 2nd.
Finding Strong, a film directed by Brian Vernor, takes viewers on a global journey to spotlight how the simple act of running can create and empower communities. The inaugural film premiere, held on the eve of the New York City Marathon, benefited the Achilles Kids organization to help meet the needs of children with disabilities. Click here to watch the film’s trailer.
Spanning multiple continents, Finding Strong gracefully depicts the transformative power of running. The 22-minute documentary explores fascinating runners around the world, including elite National Guardsmen in Japan, a youth running community in Brazil, goat-herding girls in Djibouti and physically challenged athletes in New York City.
“It couldn’t have been a more appropriate time to celebrate the tremendous power of the running community than during New York City Marathon weekend,” said Chris Lindner, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of commerce for Saucony. “This amazing film brings our brand mission?to empower the human spirit through running?clearly to life in a compelling and very beautiful way. This first-ever film collaboration with Runner’s World proves that running is about much more than finish lines and medals; it’s about building strength—individually and together—by putting one foot in front of the other.”
"Runner’s World had never co-produced a film or worked with an advertising partner in quite this way before," said Runner's World general manager and editor-in-chief David Willey. "The film is beautiful, not just visually but also in its point of view and sensibility, and it captures so many of the themes and ideas that Runner's World focuses on. Memorable storytelling is a big part of who we are and what we do and I'm proud that Runner's World is a partner on this project with Saucony. There are just so many inspiring stories to tell in our world, and documentary films are a great medium for telling them."
The screening event included a VIP red carpet reception; a post-screening panel discussion with some of the film’s featured runners; and an after party with Finding Strong director Brian Vernor. The invitation-only event brought together nearly 300 attendees and included media, retailers, executives and athletes from the sport of running. An art sale benefiting Achilles Kids featured a gallery of 20 cinematic stills curated from the Finding Strong documentary, all of which sold during the event. Achilles Kids, an extension of Achilles International, offers walking, running and rolling programs to 4,000 disabled children in schools across the United States.
The post-screening panel included David Willey of Runner's World; Cintia Guzman, coach of the Djibouti-based Girls Run 2 team; Ben Simmons, marathoner and team member of Achilles International; and Finland’s Mårten Boström, 2013 World Orienteering Sprint Champion. The panel was moderated by Sharon Barbano, vice president of public relations for Saucony.
The Finding Strong film schedule encompasses both trade and consumer screenings, and includes The Running Event (December 2013) and the Outdoor Retailer Show (January 2014), in addition to film and running events throughout 2014. Each of the live screenings will include a post-screening panel discussion with local thought leaders in the running community.
The Saucony Finding Strong film trailer will be available to view at saucony.com/findingstrong beginning November 11. The full-length film will be available Spring 2014.