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Boston Marathon Organizers Run Toward Documentary

The documentary Boston, currently being produced with the help of the Boston Athletic Association, is one of many films in the works about the Boston Marathon. Unlike most of the other films, though, the feature hopes to look beyond the 2013 terror attacks that scarred the race.

The history of the Boston Marathon feels a little slim these days, focused more on the tragedy that defined the event nearly three years ago and less on the 115 years that had come before.

But a documentary film currently in the works, complete with official support from the Boston Athletic Association, hopes to remedy that situation. Boston, which was conceived before the 2013 finish-line bombing that killed three people and injured more than 260, is an attempt by the association to honor the marathon’s long history.

BAA is working with director Jon Dunham, who directed the 2007 feature film Spirit of the Marathon, on the project. Dunham, who himself has run a number of marathons (26, to be exact—coincidence?), tells the Associated Press that the film will focus on the city’s efforts to take back the race, but it will also touch on some of the greatest figures in the city’s greatest race.

“It’s a huge undertaking. We’ve got 300 hours of stuff we shot, not counting the archival material,” Dunham told the AP.

Boston is one of an array of in-production films and television shows focused on the marathon, but many of those projects—particularly a film produced by Boston native Mark Wahlberg that has drawn criticism from locals—are focused not on the marathon itself but on the 2013 bombing.

But Boston‘s filmmakers argue that the broader story of the race is a more interesting one—one they look forward to telling.

“Over the years, the Boston Marathon has had so many extraordinary stories of people achieving and accomplishing things,” Boston producer Megan Williams told the AP. “It’s like looking at cultural and social change over the last century through the lens of this major sporting event.”

The film, which is still looking for funding, is expected to be released in April 2017.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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