Dogwoof Films


The world’s best long-distance runners hail from one small town in Ethiopia. See how they do it!


The world’s best long-distance runners hail from one small town in Ethiopia. See how they do it!

Long distance running is a way of life in the Arsi region of Ethiopia. In a country long associated with poverty, famine and war, world-record-beating athletes are the source of pride. Many of the world’s greatest runners hail from Bekoji, a remote town in the southern Highlands. In the Beijing Olympics, runners from the Bekoji won all four gold medals in the long distance track events - more medals than most industrial countries.

TOWN OF RUNNERS is a feature documentary by an award-winning director Jerry Rothwell (Donor Unknown, Heavy Load) about the young athletes born and raised in Bekoji, who hope to emulate their local heroes and compete on the world’s stage. Filmed over four years, the film follows their fortunes as they move from school track to national competition and from childhood to adulthood.

For more information on the Outreach Programme associated with Town of Runners, visit

Reviews (5)

  • "In an Olympic year, here’s an inspirational reminder of what it’s all about." 4Total Film
  • "The film is incredibly beautiful. Scenes of men and women working in the fields of wheat look like a Renoir." 4Financial Times
  • "So much more than a documentary about Olympic runners, Town of Runners is an introspective eulogy to a way of life. " – Little White Lies
  • "Two young Ethiopians from a small but remarkable town run for their lives" – The Arts Desk
  • "Balances human emotion with sporting drama well enough to go the distance" – The Guardian


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