Marathon Boy to premiere at Tribeca Fest

MUMBAI: The story of Budhia Singh, the four-year old marathon boy from Orissa, now a documentary titled Marathon Boy made by Gemma Atwal, will have its North American premiere in the documentary competition section of the 10th Tribeca Film Festival (TFF).

Marathon Boy is a moving tale of little Budhia born in the slums of Bhubaneswar in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, whose mother sells him to a peddler for Rs 800. A judo teacher, Biranchi Das, who runs an orphanage, buys him back only to discover Budhia‘s talent for running.

But when Biranchi has the four-year old Budhia run 42 miles, a controversy breaks out and he is accused of exploiting a boy too young to know what he really wants. The government gets involved and the issue gets politicised.

The rumours of vast sums of money attract gangsters eager to drive a wedge between Biranchi and Budhia. The film slowly turns into a tale of dreams, greed, and envy with a little child as the main protagonist.

This is the second film with an Indian theme after Patang (Kites), directed by Prashant Bhargava, was included in the competition section of TFF 2011. Both the films will be competing for a cash prize of $1,50,000.

The 98-minute film, made in Oriya as well as in English, is an Indo-US co-production backed by HBO. The film had received support from the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund.

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