Marathon Boy (2010)



Directer:Gemma Atwal   Producer:Gemma Atwal, Matt Norman  Music:Garry Hughes   Cinematography:Matt Norman   Editor:Peter Haddon  Running time:98 min  

Country:UK, India  Language:Oriya, English Genre:Documentary, Biography, Drama  

Subtitle: English







Asia Pacific Screen Awards
Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
2011 Nominated Asia Pacific Screen Award Best Documentary Feature Film
Matt Norman 
Gemma Atwal 

Gemma Atwal''s dynamic epic follows four-year-old Budhia, rescued from poverty by Biranchi Das, a larger-than-life judo coach and operator of an orphanage for slum children in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. When Budhia displays an uncommon talent for long-distance running, Biranchi nurtures his gift, heralding him as a folk hero for the impoverished masses, and maybe even for India itself. But after golden child Budhia breaks down during a world-record 65 kilometer run at the age of four, public opinion begins to turn on the guru and his disciple, and soon the two are swept up in a maelstrom of media controversy and political scandal. Following Budhia''s roller-coaster journey over five years, Marathon Boy is a Dickensian tale of greed, corruption, and broken dreams set between the heart-racing world of marathon running, the poverty-stricken slums, and the political intrigue of a modernizing India...

Budhia Singh
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It is written like a personal reflection or essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. Tagged since July 2011.
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Budhia Singh (born 2002) is an Indian boy and the world''s youngest marathon runner.

Early life
Budhia Singh was born in 2002 to a poor family. His family couldn''t provide for him, so in 2004, his mother sold him to a man for 800 rupees. After being sold, Biranchi Das, a local judo coach and orphanage operator, caught him being a bully. He punished him by making him run, but then forgot about him; he returned after 5 hours and Budhia was still running. Das then bought Budhia from his previous owner and placed him in his orphanage. He then began to train Budhia to run marathons.

Career and controversy
Budhia''s running ability has led to celebrity status and he has appeared in a number of television commercials. These commercials and Budhia''s fame have allegedly lead to significant financial gains on the behalf of the late Mr. Biranchi Das, Budhia''s coach.[citation needed] Controversy over the nature of these gains had led to accusations of exploitation against Mr. Das and an official inquiry by Indian child welfare officials was launched on 4 January 2006; however, Mr. Das refuted the allegations.

On 2 May 2006 Budhia Singh completed a 42 mile run from Chapandie temple to Bhubaneshwar in seven hours, two minutes. This feat was registered in the Limca Book of Records. Budhia completed 65 km distance. He was asked by Mr. Das to run 3 km more towards a stadium where he would be welcomed, during these extra kilometers he collapsed.

On 8 May 2006 a government statement had ordered that Budhia stop running until the age of 11.

On 13 August 2007 Das was arrested by Indian police on suspicion of torture.[citation needed] Singh accused his coach of beating him and withholding food, and said he would give up running. The police said they had arrested and charged Das with criminal intimidation.[citation needed] Das claimed that Singh''s family made up the charges because of financial reasons and petty rows. He said he recently expelled Singh''s sister from a judo school he ran because she misbehaved, and he had refused to build Singh''s mother a new house.[citation needed] After a full medical examination it was determined that there was no evidence against Biranchi Das and all charges were dropped.[citation needed] After the death of Mr. Das, Singh said that he was never beaten.

A feature-length documentary called Marathon Boy was released in 2011 covering Budhia and Das for five years starting in 2006. The documentary was funded by HBO & BBC Storyville. In the film, Budhia makes a withdrawal of his accusations against Das.
[edit] Murder of Biranchi Das

Biranchi Das was shot dead at Bhubaneswar on the evening of 13 April 2008. According to police, "Das, a judo coach, was sitting inside the judo centre in BJB College area along with some of his friends after a training session when the assailants struck".

On 13 December 2010 Bhabeneswar fast track court found the murderers guilty and final sentence was passed on 17 December 2010. Both Sandeep Acharya alias Raja and his associate Akhaya Behera alias Chagala were sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment.