I am pleased to announce that my MFA graduate thesis film, The Spirit of a Runner (2009), is an official selection at the 2013 Boston Running Film Festival. It will screen next weekend right before the Boston Marathon alongside a handful of other running-related films.
I am very excited about this opportunity to showcase the film again; although the film is now approaching its fourth birthday (!!!), it is a project I am very proud of. While on the surface the film is a story about the 3,100-mile Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Race, it is really a portrait of one of the most interesting, incredible, and complex human beings I have ever had the privilege of meeting: Suprabha Beckjord. Suprabha is a quiet and reserved 50-something year-old small business owner from Washington D.C. At 5'2", her diminutive size adds to an image of meekness. However, Suprabha is anything but meek. A stunning example of contrast, she is one of the top athletes in her field of ultramarathoning, having run more than 40,000 miles in races alone (excluding training!!!). Suprabha gleans her athletic inspiration from her spiritual leader, Sri Chinmoy. In fact, as one of Chinmoy's disciples, Suprabha has devoted her life to honoring him through various means, including legally changing her name in her 20s from her given name "Amy" to her spiritual name "Suprabha."
In the years since I've made the film, Suprabha and I have continued to keep in touch through calls, emails and letters; most recently she sent me and my husband, Chris, a beautiful wind chime from her shop for our wedding last summer. She continues to amaze me with her balance between "regular life" (living in a city, owning a small business, keeping up with current events, etc.) and her spiritual life as a disciple of Sri Chinmoy. Please come and hear her story at the Boston Running Film Festival next weekend! I will be in attendance at the Sunday screening.