Now in its third year, the 2019 edition of DocLands Documentary Film Festival kicks off Thursday, May 2 with the World Premiere of RUNNER; director Bill Gallagher and film subject Guor Marial will be in attendance. The four-day festival will showcase 44 films from 14 countries, with 36 filmmakers in attendance. The Closing Night Film will be the Bay Area Premiere of THE WEIGHT OF WATER with Emmy Award winning director Michael Brown and film subject Erik Weihenmayer attending.
DocLands is a non-competitive, inclusive festival, Showcasing documentary films in a variety of genres and with a diversity of content, while exploring three main programming sections (Art of Impact, The Great Outdoors and WonderLands) and highlighting films that transcend the traditional definition of the documentary – films that break form in terms of creativity and entertainment.
RUNNER – World Premiere
Director Bill Gallagher and film subject Guor Marial
When he was only nine, Guor Marial ran from his refugee camp in war-torn Sudan to seek safety in the US. In his new life, Marial began running again, participating in high school track and field and eventually becoming a sensation qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. But because the newly formed South Sudan was not recognized by the International Olympics committee, Marial had to fight to compete independently, refusing to run for Sudan and taking a stand against its oppression. Runner depicts Marial’s difficult and triumphant journey from refugee to world-renowned athlete, told in intimate interviews with gorgeously animated flashbacks of Guor’s upbringing and culminating in a heart-wrenching reunion with his parents after a 20-year separation. His story is a distinctly inspirational one in which the indomitable human spirit emerges against all odds—and has us urging those in power to choose to do the right thing.
THE WEIGHT OF WATER
The Weight of Water is an inspirational story about renowned blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer and his journey towards taking on an absurdly improbable challenge: kayaking the Grand Canyon. No stranger to improbable challenges, Weihenmayer was featured on the cover of Time Magazine when in the early 2000s he became the first blind person to reach the summit of Everest, and the only blind person to climb the highest peak on each of the seven continents.