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Ethiopia has their first Foreign Language Oscar® contender with “The Athlete” Those of us who were around at the time will recall the most memorable moment of the Rome Olympics in 1960. An unknown Ethiopian barefoot marathon runner, Abeba Bikila won the Gold, becoming the first black African to win any kind of Olympic gold.

He did it again in Tokyo four years later, winning by a record margin.

Now there’s a film about Bikila, and it’s another first, Ethiopia’s first Oscar® contender in the Foreign Language Film category. spoke to its co-director/writer Davey Frankel. He told us that these marathons were just the beginning of Bikila’s story in his film “The Athlete.”

“The real inspiration comes later, after a tragic accident changes Bikila’s life, forcing him to face challenges he could never have anticipated,” says Frankel.

It’s an ambitious film for a low budget independent. It was shot from the Arctic Circle to the Equator. Scenes of the real Bikila running those historic races was integrated with shots of the actor portraying him in the film, Rasselas Lakew, who is the other co-director/writer.

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One Comment

  • November 11, 2010 | Permalink |

    My good friend Seb is from Ethiopia. I just shared this article with her on Facebook.

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