A refugee marathoner sets out to be South Sudan’s first Olympian against all odds.

When he was only eight, Guor Mading Maker (formally known as Guor Marial) ran from captivity in war-torn Sudan to eventually seek safety in the US. In his new life, Maker began running again, participating in high school track and field and eventually becoming a sensation and qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. But because the newly formed South Sudan was not recognized by the International Olympic Committee, Maker had to fight to compete independently, refusing to run for Sudan and taking a stand against its oppression. RUNNER depicts Maker’s difficult and triumphant journey from refugee to a 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.

GenresDocumentary, Sports, Biography
DirectorBill Gallagher
CastGuor Maker
Runtime88 mins
Theatrical Release19 Jun 2020
Available1 Sep 2023
Festivals & Awards
  • Official Selection – Heartland Film Festival
  • Winner – Audience Award, plus Opening Night Film – Woods Hole Film Festival
  • Closing Night Film - Big Sky Film Festival
  • Winner – Audience Award, Best Documentary Jury Prize – Naples International Film Festival
  • Opening Night Film – DocLands Film Festival
  • Winner - Audience Award 2nd Place & Best Human Spirit Film - Breckenridge Film Festival Official Selection - Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
  • Official Selection - Margaret Mead Film Festival
  • Winner - Special Jury Commendation - Port Townsend Film Festival
  • Winner - Audience Award, Best New England Filmmaker - Newburyport Documentary Film Festival
  • Winner - Best Feature Film - Lone Star Film Festival
  • Winner - Best Documentary – Fairhope Film Festival