Boston: The Documentary
“To win the Boston Marathon. That changed my life.”
BOSTON is the first ever feature-length documentary film about the world’s most legendary running race – the Boston Marathon.
The film chronicles the story of the iconic race from its humble origins starting with only 15 runners to the present day. In addition to highlighting the event as the oldest annually contested marathon in the world, the film showcases many of the most important moments in more than a century of the race’s history. Evolving from a working man’s challenge to welcoming foreign athletes and eventually women, Boston becomes the stage for many firsts and in no small part the event that paved the way for the modern marathon and mass participatory sports.
Following the tragic events of 2013, BOSTON records the preparations and eventual running of the 118th Boston Marathon one year later when runners and community gather once again in support of one another for what will be the most meaningful race of all.
Produced and directed by award winning filmmaker/marathoner Jon Dunham (Spirit of the Marathon I & II) and produced by Academy Award nominee Megan Williams, and executive produced by Academy Award nominee Frank Marshall (Back to the Future, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Sully), BOSTON is more than a running film. It is a timeless story about triumph over adversity for runner and non-runner alike.
“Boston is the marathoner’s marathon.”
Jon Dunham is an award winning filmmaker and a 25-time marathon finisher. The fusion of both these passions is reflected in his Spirit of the Marathon films.
Premiering at the 2007 Chicago International Film Festival, Spirit of the Marathon won the coveted Audience Award. It was subsequently released in more than 400 cinemas across the United States, where it grossed over $1 Million in two days on its way to becoming one of the year’s most successful theatrically released documentary films. The critically acclaimed production, which has become a cult classic among runners, was followed by Spirit of the Marathon II in 2013.
BOSTON is the filmmaker’s third and final film on the subject and marks the first time in the legendary race’s history that the complete story will be told in a feature-length film.
As a cinematographer, Dunham has lensed a wide range of documentaries and has filmed on every continent.
An Academy Award nominee and recipient of the Alfred I. duPont Columbia Journalism Award, Williams teamed with Dunham in 2002 to produce No Distance Too Far, an official selection of the International Documentary Association’s 6th Annual Documentary Film Showcase.
A former adjunct professor at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, she began her career in the 1970’s as co-founder and partner of TVTV — an independent video collective known for its influential body of work.
With more than seventy films to his credit, Frank Marshall is a visionary producer who has helped shape American cinema. Marshall’s credits as a producer include some of the most successful and enduring films of all time. His movies have been nominated for a multitude of Academy Awards, including Best Picture nominations for such films as Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Color Purple, Seabiscuit and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Marshall has garnered wide acclaim as a film director, having brought to the screen such memorable movies as Arachnophobia, Alive and Eight Below. Recent projects include Jurassic World, Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, Jason Bourne and Clint Eastwood’s Sully. In the documentary space, Marshall has produced such projects as Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, Alex Gibney’s critically acclaimed The Armstrong Lie and the Frank Sinatra documentary miniseries for HBO.
Tom Derderian ran the Boston Marathon for the first time while a senior in high school in Milford MA. He ran track and cross-country at the University of Massachusetts, graduating with a degree in Journalism. He ran in the US Olympic Trials marathons in 1972 and 1976. His fastest Boston was 2:19:04.
Tom worked in design and development at Nike in Oregon for most of the 1980’s. He has several US patents in his name.
Today Tom serves as Coach for the greater Boston Track Club and competes regularly in Masters races. He is a senior writer for NEW ENGLAND RUNNER Magazine and has written for many other running publications. Tom’s book, THE BOSTON MARATHON, the definitive history of the race, was written in collaboration with the Boston Athletic Association and published in 1995. An updated third edition is to be published in Spring 2017.
Tom and his wife, Cynthia Hastings, live on the shore in Winthrop, MA, slightly east of Boston.
Eleanor Bingham Miller is a Louisville, Kentucky-based documentary film producer with more than 40 years experience in non-fiction entertainment. Miller worked with BOSTON Producer Megan Williams in the 70’s for the legendary documentary collective TVTV. She subsequently worked as an independent producer for PBS TV and as Public Affairs programmer for Louisville, Kentucky’s CBS TV affiliate, WHAS-TV.
Between 1980 and 2013 Miller and her Producing Partner Bruce Skinner ran Cumberland Gap Productions and then Skinner & Company LLC in Louisville. They mentored, produced or executive produced over twenty feature films, PSA’s, short-form and full-length documentaries with the likes of Ned Beatty and Muhammad Ali. Miller co-produced the 1991 independent feature film ONCE AROUND with Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, Lasse Hallstrom, Griffin Dunne and Amy Robinson. She assisted with Clara Bingham and Robert Kennedy Jr’s THE LAST MOUNTAIN, a feature-length documentary expose of mountain top removal coal mining in West Virginia. LAST MOUNTAIN was presented in competition at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
Since February 2014 Miller has been part of the BOSTON production team, serving variously as green screen interviewer, field producer, archivist and co-producer.
As head of documentaries for The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Ryan Suffern has an active role on a full slate of films. He and Frank Marshall have collaborated on numerous projects, including three commissioned documentaries for ESPN Films, and the two were executive producers on TRANSCEND, which follows 2012 Boston Marathon winner Wesley Korir. Suffern recently directed FINDING OSCAR, a feature-length documentary about the search for justice in the case of the Dos Erres massacre in Guatemala, which he and Marshall produced together. The film is a co-production with the USC Shoah Foundation, executive produced by Steven Spielberg, and is currently on the festival circuit. Under his own banner, Suckatash Productions, Suffern has directed and produced a host of music videos, documentaries and web series, and he has also written a feature screenplay on assignment for DreamWorks Films. Suffern currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Kim, and their two daughters, Pearl & Iris.
Jeff Beal is a composer with a genre-defying musical fluidity. His film scores have received critical acclaim, while he remains a respected composer in the concert, theater and dance worlds.
Beal’s evocative score and theme for the drama House of Cards received four Emmy Award nominations, winning for score, bringing Beal’s Emmy tally to sixteen nominations and four statues. He was recently the named Television Composer Of The Year by the World Soundtrack Awards. Other lauded works for the screen include Monk (USA), and HBO’s epic series Rome and Carnivale. Film scores include recent box office and Sundance hit documentaries Blackfish, Weiner, Queen of Versailles, alongside dramas Pollock and Appaloosa.
Beal’s concert works have been performed by the St. Louis, Oakland, Berkley, Rochester, Pacific, Munich, and Detroit symphony orchestras. Commissions include works for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Smuin Ballet, Oregon Ballet, Cantus, Eric Whitacre Singers, Ying Quartet, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and grammy winner Jason Vieaux.
Beal recently conducted the world premiere of his House Of Cards in Concert with the National Symphony Orchestra; a full evening program at the Kennedy Center. In the 2017-18 he will be conducting his film score for the Buster Keaton classic silent The General with the LA Chamber Orchestra, and his House Of Cards program at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Leonard Feinstein has been editing documentary films and TV for over three decades. Among his credits are the award-winning feature docs Darfur Now, Bitter Seeds, and Betting on Zero. He also edited Jon Dunham’s 2012 film Spirit of the Marathon 2.
For television, his work includes the PBS series Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, NOVA, National Geographic Specials, and Craft in America.
Robert Irwin: The Beauty of Questions, a film he directed and edited, took the Grand Prize at the 1998 International Biennale of Films on Art in Paris. Feinstein has been nominated for a Prime Time Emmy, and won an American Cinema Editors Award in 2009 for his work on the TV series Greensburg. In 2013 he won the best editing award at DocUtah for the film Mona Lisa Missing.
He has been profiled in the LA Times and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. A former New Yorker and Angeleno, he now lives with his wife Susan and their three border collies in rural Mendocino County, California.
Deena won the 2004 Olympic Marathon Bronze medal (Athens, Greece), the 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, and the 2006 Virgin London Marathon.
She has 24 national Titles (Cross Country, Track, Road Racing) and currently holds 10 American Records from 5K to Marathon. Born in Massachusetts, Deena lives in Mammoth Lakes, California, where she is president of the Mammoth Track Club.
“There's no one that can watch the Boston Marathon and not be inspired somehow by someone.”
“I’m going to run this race every year for the rest of my life.”
“Finally we were free to be athletes.”
“I found something in running, a spiritual connection with the Earth.”
“Everybody takes it personally. It’s everybody’s marathon.”
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