Today, espnW debuted the first episode of its five-part docu-series, Run Mama Run, directed by Daniele Anastasion, the winning fellow in the inaugural espnW Film Fellowship, presented by Walmart. The series of short films follows Sarah Brown, an elite track athlete who makes the extraordinary decision to train for the 2016 Olympic Trials through an unexpected pregnancy.
Each episode follows Brown as she trains through her third trimester, gives birth and has only 16 weeks postpartum to prepare for the Olympic Trials. As Sarah and her husband/coach Darren explore uncharted territory, they deal with everything from controversy over her decisions to unforeseen injury. A new episode will be posted to espnW.com each day through Friday, July 8. The fifth and final episode is currently being filmed at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., and will premiere in the coming weeks. Link: http://es.pn/29LKhiC
“I was drawn to Sarah’s story because it physicalizes a conflict that so many women face,” said Anastasion. “How do you hold on to your career while having children? Athletes sacrifice their bodies for their careers. Women sacrifice their bodies for motherhood. Could Sarah do both at the same time?”
Anastasion is the winner of the first-ever espnW Film Fellowship program, which sought to find a female filmmaker who aimed to bring a woman-centric sports story to life on screen. She worked closely with ESPN Films, known for its short- and feature-length sports documentaries, to chronicle Brown’s journey.
“This fellowship gave an incredible opportunity to a promising filmmaker and Daniele took the opportunity to create a riveting, original series,” said Laura Gentile, senior vice president, espnW & Women’s Initiatives. Daniele astutely documents Sarah’s struggle as she strives to pursue her life’s dream while being a devoted new mother and wife.”
Anastasion, recently directed I Am Yup’ik for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Her first feature, The Redemption of General Butt Naked, received the Sundance award for Best Cinematography and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Some of her recent work includes writing and producing the groundbreaking series “Belief” for Oprah Winfrey, a cinematic exploration of spirituality around the world.
espnW serves women who love sports. espnW.com offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and shares a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women. Founded in July 2010, espnW lives across digital, television, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.
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